Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

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Stories from the Field

Why does someone choose to become a public health nurse?

Stories from the Field is a brand new podcast for student nurses, featuring real stories, candid conversations, and snapshots of practicing nursing in Ontario.

Co-hosts Susan Blue and Maureen Cava, retired public health nurses,  provide listeners with an entertaining and educating perspective on what exactly public health nurses do.

Funding for Stories from the Field is generously supported by the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing’s Verna Huffman Splane Fund. 


Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

Episode 6 Strategies on the Streets

We follow the stories of two public health nurses working directly with clients who are unhoused, underhoused, or living on the streets. Our final guest discusses harm reduction at a population level. All three of these nurses provide insight into an average workday, advice on the kinds of skills that are needed to do their work, and suggestions for nursing students planning out their next steps.

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Episode 5 Community Campaigns and School Health

This episode will introduce listeners to two different areas of public health nursing practice: leading a population health promotion campaign, and working in a school health role. We’ll learn about the development of a large-scale campaign to support effective parenting; an example of how public health nursing can influence the entire population. Listeners will also hear how the school public health nurse works with students, teachers, principals, and parents to support the physical and emotional health of children and youth. Each nurse will offer a peek into a typical work day. While their roles are different, similar skills in collaboration, advocacy and innovation are foundational to their work.

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Episode 4 Supporting Childbearing Families

Two public health nurses will share the challenges and successes they’ve experienced while supporting childbearing age families. We’ll learn about assessing, planning, and implementing a prenatal group program for new immigrants. We’ll also discuss working closely with postpartum families to meet their breastfeeding and infant feeding goals. Both of our guests demonstrate how developing trust, and connecting on the client’s terms, are key to making a positive difference in the lives of new and soon-to-be parents!

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Episode 3 Frontline in a Pandemic

The COVID pandemic has been an unprecedented time for public health, and nurses stepped up with passion and commitment in a big way. Our guest describes how nurses facilitated contact tracing, set up large scale vaccination clinics, and provided vaccines to people of all ages, in multiple settings. The stories you’ll hear offer a glimpse into what public health nurses in Ontario faced during COVID, and how they embraced the challenge.

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Episode 2 Harm Reduction Approaches to Opioid Use

In this episode, we’ll talk with a nurse whose interest in the field was sparked after she was the recipient of nursing services as a pregnant young mother. She’ll reflect on her current work: harm reduction specific to opioid use and the extensive process to develop a community drug prevention strategy. Observations about community engagement, addressing fear-based perspectives, and reflecting on personal bias will be highlighted for listeners.

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Episode 1 What do Public Health Nurses Do?

We discuss the upstream approach, one-on-one work, and policy development with two chief nursing officers in Ontario. We’ll learn what they love about public health and why they’ve stayed in this field for a combined 44 years. Listeners will gain an appreciation for the difference that public health nurses can make within their communities.

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Trailer Welcome to the Field


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