Role and working conditions of nurses in public health in Mexico and Peru: a binational qualitative study. Academic Article uri icon


  • AIM: This exploratory study conducted in Mexico and Peru investigated nurses' perceptions about their role in public health and working conditions. BACKGROUND: Health reform efforts in many countries are redefining the role of health professionals in public health. Little is known about the role of nurses working in public health contexts in Latin America. METHOD: Fourteen focus groups were conducted in Mexico and Peru with 82 nurses working in government-sponsored community health centres. Data were analysed using a content analysis technique. FINDINGS: Themes identified were: nurses' job descriptions in public health settings; organisational factors influencing the nurses' work, and influence of academic and social image factors. CONCLUSION: Management barriers and limited training influences the role and working conditions of public health nurses in Mexico and Peru. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: The professional role of nurses working in public health in Latin America is not well defined because of the health-care system infrastructure and the lack of a clear public health nurse job description. Further research is needed to better understand the role of public health nurses and strengthen their training, particularly in relation to nursing management encompassing abilities for decision-making processes and public health program planning and evaluation.

published proceedings

  • J Nurs Manag

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • De Crdova, M., Mier, N., Quirarte, N., Gmez, T. G., Piones, S., & Borda, A.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • November 2013