Community Health Nursing

Community Health Nursing is a very rewarding field in nursing that primarily focuses on public health and community improvement. A Community Health Nurse, also referred to as a Public Health Nurse, has many duties to serve the public. Promoting public health and safety is one of the most important parts of a community health nurses job. People that are very active within their community can be great community health advocates and may want to consider a career in community health nursing. Community Health Nursing classes teach aspiring nurses how to give back to their community (outside of the hospital) through the use and promotion of essential medical treatments.

Families with low social-economic status are especially at risk of not receiving proper medical treatment. Disease and other illness strike communities quickly and can have devastating effects in areas where access to healthcare is limited. A Community Health Nurse coordinates with local governments and residents to extend the reach of necessary professional healthcare services that help promote healthier communities and the well-being of families living in these environments. Community Health Nurses advocate and promote disease prevention by hosting immunizations, screenings, and other important medical procedures for free, or for a small fee.

Requirements for becoming a Community Health Nurse typically include the following:
1. Registered Nurse training/credentials
2. Bachelor’s in Nursing (An Associate’s degree may be acceptable in some conditions)

The biggest difference between a normal hospital nurse and a community health nurse is the work setting. A hospital nurse generally works in… you guessed it, a hospital! But a community health nurse may work nearly anywhere in a community, advocating healthcare resources and activities to anyone that may potentially benefit. These activities necessitate inclusive health programs, which pay special attention to ecologic and social influences and particular communities vulnerable to illness. At-risk individuals include young children and babies, the elderly, and families living below the poverty line.

Community health nurses are not limited to the care of a specific group or specific age; however, typically community health nursing is most beneficial in certain populations. For example, newborn babies in poor neighborhoods. Community populations that exhibit impoverished living conditions are especially of concern to community health nurses as these people tend to be at the most risk for sickness.

Community and Nurse Managed Health Centers - front cover

Here is a brief overview of the widely known community health nursing textbooks.
1. “Community Nursing Practice: Theory, Skills and Issues” by Winsome St. John and Helen Keleher. – Publisher’s Website
2. “Developing Community Nursing Practice” by Sue Spencer, John Unsworth, and Wendy Burke. – Publisher’s Website
3. “Mental Health Work in the Community: Theory and Practice in Social Work and Community Psychiatric Nursing” by Michael Sheppard. – Publisher’s Website
4. “Community and Nurse-Managed Health Centers: Getting Them Started and Keeping Them Going” by Donna L. Torrisi, and Tine Hansen-Turton. – Publisher’s Website

Related Resources

If you are interesting in reading more about Community Health Nursing (commonly referred to as Public Health Nursing), then we encourage you to take a look at our extensive list of free health and medical textbooks.

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