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  1. Falk-Rafael, Adeline PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Betker, Claire MN, RN, CCHN(C)


Critical caring is a midrange theory proposed as a framework to guide public health nursing practice. This article reports findings of a study that examined the relevance of the theory to the practice of expert public health nurses (PHNs). Twenty-six PHNs participated in this study: 10 in interviews and 16 in 2 focus groups. Findings support the relevance of critical caring to PHN practice, explicated, and further refined the theory through the richness of participants' practice accounts As such, it has potential as a tool of resistance to forces that limit PHNs working to their full scope of practice.