TheRole of the Community and Public Health Nurse

Communityand Public Nurse

Bothcommunity and public health nurses play a significant role in theprovision of health care services. Community health is concerned withknowledge and practices that directly impacts on the communities andhow health care services are delivered to members of the community. Consequently, community nurses are responsible for diagnosis ofindividual health care needs in the context of the community. Theypromote health outcomes through community health activities andworking with interest groups such as educating mothers on childcareand immunization (Maurer &amp Smith, 2013). On the other hand,public health is concerned with need assessment, policy developmentand implementation. Public health nurses are responsible fordetermining the health requirements of a population and proposingpolicies that can improve nursing outcomes. They work with the entirecommunity in the prevention of diseases and outbreaks and ensuringthat there are sufficient health care resources (Harkness &ampDeMarco, 2016).

Population-focusedpractice is an approach that focuses on the health needs and concernsof the entire population or community as opposed to the individualbased care. It involves assessment of health determinants and makingdecisions from a group perspective. There are specific proficienciesand skills that nurses require to promote population-based publichealth. Some of the core competencies and knowledge includescientific analysis abilities, leadership skills, policy knowledge,technology literacy, ethical and social diversity proficiency, andevidence-based practices (Jones &amp Smith, 2014).

Nursesin population-focused practice require the skills essential ininstitutionally based nursing. However, due to the nature of theirresponsibilities, they must have additional competencies and skills.For example, these nurses need more scientific data analysisexpertise and the ability to integrate human sciences studies innursing practice. They also require more knowledge of public healthpolicies and their implication and interdependence with professionalpractices (Jones &amp Smith, Schenita, 2016).


Harkness,G. &amp DeMarco, R. (2016). Communityand public health nursing: evidence for practice.Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Jones,M. &amp Smith, P. (2014). Population-Focused Nursing: Advocacy forVulnerable Populations in an RN-BSN Program. PublicHealth Nursing,31(5), 463-471.

Maurer,F. &amp Smith, C. (2013). Community/public health nursing practice:health for families and populations. St. Louis, Mo.:Elsevier/Saunders.

Schenita,R. (2016). Preparing BSN Students for Population-Focused NursingCare. NursingEducation Perspectives, 37(2),pp 115-117.