Public health nursing in Indonesia: difference in roles and functions in rural and urban centers

Raditya Kurniawan Djoar


Background: Public health nurses in Indonesia hold important roles and functions in the effort of achieving goals of health development in Indonesia. In general, there are twof actors related to roles and functions, personal and contextual factors include setting. Therefore, to identify factors related to difference in roles and function of public health nurses in different location is an important step to build up the specific scope of practice. The purpose of this study is to identify factors related to difference in roles and functions of public health nurses working in rural and urban public health centers.

Methods: Cross-sectional study was conducted among nurses who work in public health center in Surabaya and Banyuwangi. A research instrument adapted from Chamber (1994) and Gibson’s (2000) has been calibrated with acceptable reliability and validity, and later being used for data collection. A total of 198 PHNs including 50 from rural area and 148 from urban areas were recruited. SPSS 17 was used for data analysis.

Results: The results indicate that there was a gap in the importance of roles as perceived and frequency of function as practiced. There was no different in the importance of roles among PHNs in different setting, but when measured about functions there was signicant difference (t = -2.98, p =0.003). PHNs in urban area have practiced more complex activities than PHNs in rural area. Using the regression approach, sum of job descriptions was the only predicting factor to importance of roles perceived by Indonesian public health nurses. Sum of job descriptions, employment status, total of training and setting were found to be predictors of the functions and settings is the most influential factor related to how PHNs apply their functions.

Conclusions: In each setting, PHNs have different priorities in their activity. Through these findings can be referenced for future scope of public health nursing practice in different settings in term of roles and function of public health nursing in Indonesia.



Roles, Functions, Public health nurses, Rural-urban

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