About Us

Public Health Nursing at the Virginia Department of Health

The Office of Public Health Nursing is a core foundation of the Virginia Department of Health, as nurses are critical in the overall execution of health promotion, disease prevention, and community health and wellness across the entire lifespan. The office is under the direction of Kyndra Jackson, DNP, MPH, RN-BC. Kyndra brings over 20 years of proven leadership in military hospitals/clinics, Department of Defense laboratories and federally-qualified healthcare centers. During her nursing career, she has held various positions of influence leading public health professionals in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health initiatives for communities across the globe. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Clemson University. She earned a dual Masters (Public Health and Master of Science Community/Public Health Nursing) from University of Maryland Baltimore. University of Maryland Baltimore is also where she earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. She is board certified in Ambulatory Care Nursing. She is adjunct faculty in the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Nursing Department of Family and Community Health. With a passion for public health, Kyndra supports the integral role of public health nurses in improving the health and well-being of the Commonwealth’s citizens striving to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation.

VDH Vision

Agency Mission
To protect the health and promote the well-being of all people in Virginia

Agency Vision
Become the healthiest state in the nation.

Agency Core Values
Our culture values service, equity, and making data-driven decisions.

 About the VDH Department of Nursing

Public health nursing is the practice of “promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences” (APHA, PHN Section, 2013). Public health nursing practice is guided by the revised 10 essential public health functions that describe the public health activities that all communities should undertake (CDC 2020). The skills and competencies described in the Quad Council Coalition of public health nursing organizations 2018 document provide the framework for developing excellence in public health nursing practice.

Partnership is a hallmark of public health nursing practice. The importance of the role of public health nurses is emphasized in the consensus report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (2021), The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. The report recognizes nurses, especially public health nurses, must address the social determinants of health by addressing the conditions in which people live, learn, work, play, worship. These factors affect a wide range of health, functioning and quality- of -life outcomes and risks and may lead to suboptimal health outcomes.

Public health nurses care for individuals and communities. They have the ability to, “…manage as well as collaborate within teams and connect clinical care, public health, and social services while building trust in communities” (The Future of Nursing 2020-2030, p. 119). Public health nurses serve across Virginia in urban and rural settings that have their unique challenges. They provide home visiting services for mothers and infants, serve in public health safety net clinics, administer immunizations, conduct communicable disease investigations, collaborate with community partners on health initiatives to address social determinants of health, connect individuals and families with resources, and much, much more!

Are you interested in becoming a public health nurse? Explore open positions on the Commonwealth of Virginia website.