Community Health Nursing
Community health nursing, also referred to as community nursing or public health nursing, is a discipline within the nursing practice that integrates evidence-based research and nursing practice within a community setting. Community nursing is concerned with the health care of individuals, families, groups, and populations within a given geographical location. The main goal of this field is to promote the health of the people they serve by educating them about important aspects of health like prevention of infectious diseases, benefits of healthy nutrition, healthy lifestyle, and general wellness.
Community nursing is also in the front line in providing patient care, developing health and wellness programs, and conducting research focused on improving the quality and access to care. Because diverse populations are involved, community health practices must identify, understand, and respect the cultural and socioeconomic background of people in different communities and ensure that they interact and relate with them appropriately and sensitively when providing care.
Community Health Nurses
Community nurses differ from regular nurses in that they are not only concerned with providing one-on-one patient care but also focuses on increasing the health outcomes of the community as a whole. Community nurses are involved in providing a wide range of services to the community where they are placed. Their duty is to provide primary health care such as health screening, dispensing medications, and administering immunizations. They are also involved in providing health education to community members about disease prevention and management of chronic illnesses. Other roles of community nurses include health advocacy, policy reform, and community development.
CH nurses can work in various settings within the community, including schools, clinics, hospitals, community centers, correctional facilities, religious institutions, and government health agencies. Community nurses provide health care to less developed regions and areas where access to health care is challenging.
How to become a community health nurse
The education and training path of a community nurse is similar to that of a licensed nurse. This entails becoming registered by acquiring a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associates degree in Nursing (ADN). Becoming a community also requires one to have years of training and experience as a registered nurse.
Rather than focusing on institutional care, community health nursing focuses on ensuring that healthcare is within reach of all people. Community health nurses do not only provide primary health care, but also play a central role in preventing diseases, reducing injuries, and lowering mortalities by informing people about health risks and educating them about healthy choices. By educating people about different aspects of health and advocating for policy reforms, community nurses can bring major improvements in health care, particularly in reducing disparity in healthcare.
Allard, B.L., 2020. Always a Nurse: The Community Nurse. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 44(1), pp.66-70.
Stanhope, M. and Lancaster, J., 2019. Public health nursing e-book: Population-centered health care in the community. Elsevier Health Sciences.
St John, W. and Keleher, H., 2020. Community nursing practice: Theory, skills and issues. Routledge.