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Public health: CPD

Public health encompasses many different fields of practice, please also see the specific areas within this RCN clinical topic resource. 

This page is designed to help you find information on general Continuing Professional Development resources available to nursing staff working in public health.

The Health Careers web site Roles in public health, provides more information. Also see the section within this resource on The role of nursing staff in public health.

CPD resources

Public health knowledge and skills development

The Public Health Skills and Career Framework describes public health competences and the underpinning knowledge against levels of career development.

The ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People: public health workforce strategy’ (2013) identified the need to refine the Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (PHSKF), and to develop a new ‘skills passport’ to support the public health workforce in career development and planning.

The Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) programmes, see NMC SCPHN registration.

Post registration nursing qualifications in three specific branches of public health nursing; Health Visiting, School Nursing and Occupational health nursing. These qualification leads to registration on the third part of the NMC register. The NMC are currently reviewing all post registration qualifications including the SCPHN routes. Programme details are available from the individual approved educational institutions.

Resources from the RCN

The public health subpages give further information on specific courses related to areas of public health work. See also Public health Professional Resources.

See the RCN library public health subject guide

Related RCN publications

Other useful resources:

See All Our Health: personalised care and population health collection and the Interactive All Our Health e-learning sessions

Department of Health and Public Health England resources for public health nursing across the life course: Developing the public health contribution of nurses and midwives: tools and models 

Department of Health and the Institute of Health Visiting:

RCN sub page: Public mental health

Core public health knowledge and skills for all nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff

  • understanding local health needs and the desired public health outcomes for their population based on local joint needs assessments
  • being able to work with others to meet their local communities’ needs
  • understanding psycho-social determinants of health; the wider determinants of health and how these impact across individuals communities and wider populations promoting health and
  • supporting behaviour change using motivational interviewing skills
  • promoting health and supporting behaviour change see RCN resource using motivational interviewing skills. Promoting every encounter between nursing staff and clients as a public health encounter.

Page last updated - 24/01/2023