Public Health NursingPublic Health Nursing delivers programs that promote, protect, and preserve the health of individuals, families and communities. Public health nurses serve Islanders at every stage of life, from infants to seniors.
How can Public Health Nursing help me and my family?
Public health nurses immunize infants and children, and promote healthy child development. They provide developmental, vision, and hearing screening for pre-school children, as well as screening in schools for vision and hearing. Public Health Nursing offers the following services:
Planning a Pregnancy
If you are planning to have a baby contact Public Health Nursing to ensure your immunizations are up-to-date before you get pregnant.
- Some vaccine preventable diseases such as Varicella (Chicken pox) can be harmful to your developing baby.
- Ask if you are due for a Pertussis (Whooping Cough) immunization.
Also, talk to your public health nurse if you would like to get help to stop smoking or drinking (alcohol) before you become pregnant.
Prenatal assessments and prenatal classes offer helpful information for:
- experiencing a healthy pregnancy, birth and recovery;
- feeding and caring for your baby (breastfeeding, nutrition and infant care);
- learning about your child’s stages of growth and development;
- understanding infant immunization; and
- keeping your family safe and healthy.
A series of prenatal classes are available for expecting parents. Call Public Health Nursing to register for classes as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
Pertussis can be life threatening for babies and young children. Anyone who will be in close contact with you or your baby should be immunized for Pertussis (Whooping Cough). This is a free, safe, and effective vaccine and is appropriate for parents, brothers and/or sisters of the baby, grandparents, and any potential caregiver.
Birth to 8 Weeks of Age
New Beginnings Program: Soon after you return home from hospital with your new baby, a public health nurse will call and offer a home visit to make sure you and your baby are off to the best possible start. The nurses are experienced health professionals who can answer any questions you may have about your baby’s health and development, and help you and your family get extra support if you need it.
Best Start Screen and Assessment: Best Start is a voluntary program, offered in your home, to provide parents with information and support to promote the healthy development of your child. Public health nurses offer all families the Best Start Screen and, if appropriate, the Best Start Assessment. Families who meet the criteria are offered the Best Start Program.
Period of PURPLE Crying Program: Public health nurses review the Period of PURPLE Crying Program which is introduced in hospital. This program from the National Centre on Shaken Baby Syndrome helps parents and caregivers to better understand normal crying, and offers information for coping strategies.
Launching Little Ones Program: You can bring your child to one of the infant and pre-school health clinics offered throughout the province. These clinics are offered at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months, and 4 years of age. A public health nurse will immunize your child according to PEI’s immunization schedule, as directed by the Chief Public Health Office. The nurse also assesses your child’s development in areas such as:
- growth and nutrition;
- vision and hearing;
- oral health;
- gross and fine motor development;
- speech and communication;
- problem solving; and
- personal/social development.
Your nurse will also answer any of your concerns and provide you with current information and tips for keeping your young family healthy and safe.
Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Before your child’s 18-month and 4-year visit to the public health nurse, you will be sent a questionnaire with activities to complete with your child. The nurse will review your answers with you and offer ideas for activities for your child’s age. If any concerns are noted you will be offered a follow-up appointment and the nurse can, after discussing it with you, refer you to another health care professional if it is decided that might be helpful.
NutriSTEP: When you arrive at your child’s 18-month and 4-year assessment, you will be given a short screening tool with questions about your child’s everyday eating habits. Your public health nurse will review your answers with you and provide you with information that may be helpful. If concerns are identified, your nurse will offer you a referral to see a dietitian.
Public health nurses provide immunizations in Prince Edward Island schools according to the immunization schedule.
Vision and Hearing Screening: Public health nurses provide vision screening in Island schools to children in grade 4. They will provide vision and hearing screening at other times at the request of a teacher.
Family Life Education: Public health nurses are available upon request to provide accurate, age-appropriate information about family life and human sexuality to individuals or groups in schools.
Needle Exchange Program
The primary goal of Needle Exchange Program is to prevent the transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C that is spread by sharing equipment that is used by people who inject drugs. The program is a harm reduction initiative and offers services such as:
- needle exchange with safe needle disposal;
- immunization counseling and immunization;
- vein/wound care;
- sexual health counseling;
- health teaching to support optimal health;
- referrals to other care providers; and
- detox information.
Call Public Health Nursing for more information about locations and clinic times.
How can I find out if my vaccinations are up-to-date, or get a copy of my vaccination record?
If you received your vaccinations in PEI and need to determine if your vaccinations are up-to-date, or need a copy of your vaccination record, call a Public Health Nursing office in your area. It takes approximately two weeks to process your request for a copy of your record.
Where can I get more information about vaccinations?
- A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination [PDF | 1.72 MB] is an information booklet for parents from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
How does Public Health Nursing promote community health?
Public Health and Environmental Health professionals work together to reduce the spread of illness from person to person (communicable disease) including:
- public education and immunization (and flu shots);
- follow-up for sexually transmitted diseases; and
- follow-up when food-borne and communicable illness outbreaks are reported.
What other resources are available?
- Parent Resources: Essential links for parents of children [PDF | 1.2 MB]
- Baby Help – Feeding and immunizing your baby [PDF | 1.3 MB]
- Canadian Immunization Guide
- Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program
- Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
- Immunize Canada
- National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)
- Rourke Baby Record (infant/child health maintenance guide for parents)
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
How do I contact Public Health Nursing?
17 Knights Avenue
Souris, PE C0A 2B0
Telephone: (902) 687-7049
Fax: (902) 687-7048
126 Douses Road
Montague, PE C0A 1R0
Telephone: (902) 838-0762
Fax: (902) 838-0803
Sherwood Business Centre
161 St. Peters Road
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-4530
Fax: (902) 368-4497
Kensington Medical Centre (satelite office)
PO Box 511
55 Victoria Street
Kensington, PE C0B 1M0
Telephone: (902) 888-8160
205 Linden Avenue
Summerside, PE C1N 2K4
Telephone: (902) 888-8160
Fax: (902) 888-8153
PO Box 173
14 MacKinnon Drive
O'Leary, PE C0B 1V0
Telephone: (902) 859-8720
Fax: (902) 859-8701
248 Phillip Street (satelite office)
Tignish, PE C0B 2B0
Telephone: (902) 882-7366 (for Public Health Nursing Office only)
To book an appointment: (902) 859-8720
Wellington Health Centre
48 Mill Road
Wellington, PE C0B 2E0
Telephone: (902) 854-7759
Fax: (902) 854-7270
Tyne Valley Health Centre (satellite office)
6005 Route #12
Tyne Valley, PE C0B 1P0
Telephone: (902) 854-7259
148 Poplar Street
Alberton, PE C0B 1B0
Telephone: (902) 853-8601 (for Public Health Nursing Office only)
To book an appointment: (902) 859-8720