Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

Statewide Initiatives

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Nursing Services

Welcome to the Office of Public Health Nursing Services website.  We believe that public health nursing practice improves the health of the population through ongoing assessment; coordinated interventions; by working with and through relevant community leaders, interest groups, employers, families and individuals.

OPH Nursing History

Public Health Nurses have been providing health care services to Louisiana communities for over 100 years.  M. Cole Alpha was hired as the first public health nurse in 1916.  Public health nursing became more formalized in 1921, when the Bureau of Child Hygiene was expanded to create the Bureau of Public Health Nursing.  Emma Maurin was appointed as the first Director of Public Health Nursing within the Bureau of Parish Health Administrators.


To improve the health status of Louisiana's population by utilizing evidence-based interventions to address public health concerns and eliminate health disparities.


The vision for public health nursing in Louisiana is to ensure excellence in public health nursing leadership by serving as key leaders and influential partners in creating and sustaining a healthy and prosperous Louisiana.

What does a Public Health Nurse do?

Public health nurses are involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of population based programs within our agency:

  • Maternal Child Health
  • Family Planning
  • Tuberculosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases/HIV
  • Immunizations
  • Nutrition/Women, Infants and Children
  • Children with Special Needs
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
  • Chronic Diseases
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Education/Training

Today, there are public health nurses working in every Louisiana parish health unit in the Office of Public Health, providing cost-effective, high quality disease prevention and health promotion services to thousands of Louisiana citizens.