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What is Public Health Nursing?

Updated on January 24, 2017

So, maybe it takes an entire village to rise a child but one person truly can improve the health and therefore the future of a community.


The Public: Local Communities

What is Public (Community) Health Nursing and why is it important? In order to truly understand this concept, we probably should define community.Community is any group of people living in the same area with the same interests, work, religion, socioeconomic state, ethnicity or a combination of these aspects. Community health pertains to the disease and injuries as well as risk factors that are prevalent for that group.

Public health nursing assesses these factors, plans and implements interventions for disease and injury as well as provides education for the patient and family on ways to reduce risk factors. Assessing community health issues involves research of community characteristics and common risk factors as well as morbidity and mortality rates for the group and is referred to as epidemiology. Epidemiology also uses incidence rate, which is the number of new cases of a disease during a specific time for a particular population.

Education is an excellent tool for managing and even preventing illness and injury by helping the patient and family understand the risk factors of community health issues and how to reduce them. The principles of community health nursing use the study of trends in community specific diseases and other health concerns as well as their risk factors in order to implement an appropriate teaching strategy. This teaching strategy is an effective way to increase the avoidance of risky behavior.

What a nurse can do for a community-


Before treating current health conditions or advocating prevention of group health concerns by providing education regarding ways to modify risk factors of the group's predominant health deficits or disease, research must be done on the actual dynamics of the community. This research includes determining the predominant race, religion and socioeconomic factors as well as ages and occupations of the group. All of this information is needed in order to determine common risk factors to disease and injury of the community. After risk factors are discovered, care plans can be developed to care for, treat and educated the community on long term care for compromised health conditions as well as prevention of further illness or injury and maintenance of wellness. Wellness maintenance is achieved by education of all family members and is best started during preschool years to develop strong, healthy habits and lifestyles. Wellness education should include diet, exercise and learning to refrain from risky behavior to lower chances of developing disease or injury that is most common of that particular community. So, maybe it takes an entire village to rise a child but one person, a nurse, truly can improve the health and therefore the future of a community.

Career Choices

Now that you know more, do you think a career in community health nursing is right for you?

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© 2012 cammyshawn


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    • sir_tallest profile image

      sir_tallest 5 years ago

      its a nice hub...really nice...enjoyed it