Public Health Nursing
Public 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 provide a variety of services to support maternal, child and family health; communicable disease; school health; and health promotion:
- Planning a pregnancy
- Prenatal health (expecting a baby and caring for baby)
- Pregnancy and Postpartum (Perinatal) Mood Disorders
- Breastfeeding Drop-in Clinic
- Cannabis Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Alcohol Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Birth to 8 weeks (newborn programs)
- Infant and pre-school health clinics (2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months, and 4-year assessment)
- School health (immunizations, vision and hearing screening, family life education)
- Community health
- Adult immunizations
- Needle Exchange Program
- Find out if your immunizations are up to date
- Request a copy of your immunization record
- Influenza immunizations
There are a number of things that you can do before and between pregnancies to increase your chances of having a healthy baby. Planning to become pregnant can involve eating healthy foods, avoiding alcohol and certain medications and being immunized against certain diseases. If you are planning to have a baby contact Public Health Nursing for more information on:
- Immunizations – Ensure your immunizations are up-to-date before you get pregnant. Some vaccine preventable diseases are particularly harmful for pregnant women and their babies. Many of these can be prevented through immunization. When planning a pregnancy, it is a good opportunity for you to have your immunization record reviewed and to consider vaccines that might be beneficial to you and your baby.
- Folic Acid – A multivitamin with 0.4 mg of folic acid is recommended every day if you are:
- a woman who could become pregnant
- planning a pregnancy
- pregnant or breastfeeding
- Some women may need more folic acid, if you have questions, talk to your health care provider.
- Supports available to help you stop smoking or drinking (alcohol) before you become pregnant.
- Other programs available that may assist you in making healthier choices in planning your pregnancy.
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 [PDF | 215 KB] is available for expecting parents. Call your local Public Health Nursing office to register for classes as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
If you are expecting a new baby, it is important for yourself, family members and anyone who will be in close contact with you or your baby to be up-to-date with immunizations.
Vaccination and Pregnancy [PDF | 267 KB, Health Canada] - Vaccination during pregnancy protects both the mother and the fetus from infections that can be severe. It even protects infants after birth, while they are too young to be vaccinated! All pregnant women should be vaccinated for Pertussis and Influenza.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) [PDF | 379 KB] can be life threatening for babies and young children. Pertussis vaccine is recommended for pregnant women in every pregnancy. It is also important to encourage your baby’s father, siblings, grandparents, and any other close caregivers to be immunized. This is a free, safe, and effective vaccine which is available by contacting your local Public Health Nursing office – call early in your pregnancy to schedule an appointment.
Influenza during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight. Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing complications such as pneumonia if they get Influenza. The best way to protect yourself and others from the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Public Health Nursing offers community influenza clinics across Prince Edward Island.
A free Breastfeeding Drop-in Clinic will be held every Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Public Health Nursing Office in Charlottetown located at Sherwood Business Centre, Entrance "C", 161 St. Peter's Road. No appointment is required.
The clinic is open to breastfeeding parents and their children of all ages from across PEI. Come ask questions and get help with any breastfeeding concerns you may be having. View the poster [PDF | 1.35 MB].
- Are you pregnant or considering pregnancy? (The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada)
- Cannabis use while pregnant or breastfeeding may be harmful to your baby [VIDEO]
- Cannabis in any form may affect your baby's health [VIDEO]
- 8 Things you need to know about cannabis, pregnancy and breastfeeding [PDF | 786 KB]
- Women and Cannabis [PDF | 358 KB]
- Cannabis and Pregnancy Don't Mix [PDF | 536 KB]
- Alcohol and Pregnancy Don't Mix [PDF | 484 KB]
- Alcohol and pregnancy
- Women and Alcohol [PDF | 222 KB]
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 assist you with breastfeeding and answer questions you may have about feeding your baby. They can also answer any questions you may have about your health, your baby's health and development, and can help you and your family get extra support if you need it.
Best Start Screen: 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. Families who meet the criteria are offered a referral to 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.
Born to Read: During your baby's two month visit, the Public Health Nurse will provide you with a book and a Library Card. To learn more about this program, visit Early Childhood Literacy: Born to Read and Little Ones Read.
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. To learn more about vaccines, view the A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination [PDF | 1.72 MB].
The nurse will also assess 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 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.
Little Ones Read: During your toddler’s 18-month wellness visit, Public Health Nursing will provide your child with a new book called Look At Me Now! To learn more about this program, visit Early Childhood Literacy: Born to Read and Little Ones Read.
Public Health Nurses provide immunizations in PEI schools according to the PEI Childhood immunization schedule.
Vision and Hearing Screening: Public Health Nurses provide vision screening and hearing screening in Island schools 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. Public Health Nurses will work collaboratively with the Comprehensive School Health Nurses when a Student Well-being Team is in place.
Public Health Nurses may also work in partnership with the Student Well-being Team in the school on other health matters upon request.
Public Health Nurses work to reduce the spread of illness from person to person (communicable disease) including:
- public education and immunization;
- community Influenza Immunization Clinics (flu shots);
- follow-up for sexually transmitted diseases;
- follow-up when food-borne and communicable illness outbreaks are reported; and
- the Needle Exchange Program.
If you received your immunizations in PEI and need to determine if they are up to date, contact a Public Health Nursing office in your area.
If you have moved to PEI from another province or country, your immunization history may be different. If you can provide your Immunization Record, a Public Health Nurse will review the Record and recommend any additional vaccines.
Immunization records can be obtained by contacting your local Public Health Nursing office. It may take up to two weeks to process your request. There is no fee for this service.
Track your own immunization records
Download the CANImmunize smartphone app to manage your families’ vaccination records and appointments.
This free, secure app includes PEI’s immunization schedule.
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 (satellite 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) 859-0399
248 Phillip Street (satellite 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) 854-7259
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