Community Health Nursing

Community health nursing, also known as public health nursing, is one of the widest range of specialties within the profession of nursing. The main focus of community health nursing is usually to make basic preventive health care widely available and easily accessible to populations that have little or no access to basic health care. It strives for equal health care to be provided to both advantaged and disadvantaged populations.

The basic roles of community health nursing are to prevent illness and injuries, to promote health and to maintain the health of populations. A specific population is the focus of community health nursing while working with individuals, groups and families to improve the community’s overall health. Services for the population that are provided can include immunizations, free or low-cost health care, cancer screening, well-child examinations, family planning, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases screening, and tuberculosis screening. It encompasses patient care from prenatal to death.

Nurses in this field work in a variety of settings outside of the traditional hospital setting, including private agencies, government, clinics and businesses. They also work with public health agencies and organizations. Community health nursing can work to repair health care systems that are currently fragmented, on the local, state or federal level. It can also be integral in health care policy changes, and strives to translate the needs to diverse populations to policymakers and health planners. For example, trends within a community or particular population, such as the prevalence of a disease, infant mortality rates and immunization levels, may be monitored and then the need to address any problems communicated.

The overall community health is improved by community health nursing through education about health care, disease prevention including sexual transmitted diseases, childcare, school health and nutrition. Community health education is achieved through work with teachers, physicians, community leaders and patients through programs, interventions and advocacy.

To become involved in community health nursing, you will need an advanced nursing degree. The University of Phoenix offers the following online nursing degree programs:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Master of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Or see online LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, or general nursing programs

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