The World Health Organization has recognized 2021 as the International Year of Healthcare Professionals and Care to highlight the critical role that healthcare workers played in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses make up 56 percent of the overall health workforce (physicians, pharmacists, dentists, midwives, and nurses), and they continue to be the majority of health-care professionals. The pandemic of COVID-19 has brought attention to the need for nurse leaders who "embrace the connectivity" between medicine and public health. The nursing profession has clarified and expanded on its responsibility in training nurses to understand and support public health. APHNs (Advanced Public Health Nurses) are providing expertise and leadership across organisations and health systems, even as they are redeployed to new roles or settings as a means of valuable surge capacity, in the rapidly evolving and complex environment shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and health inequities. Local health department directors, non-profit foundation executives, school health programme leaders, and leaders in the increasingly complex systems of care in communities and healthcare organisations are all examples of APHN leaders who act as key bridges between sectors in a variety of settings and roles.