Community/public health nursing is nursing care that is population-focused and occurs in non-hospital settings. Numerous nursing theories can provide the structure for community/public health nursing; however, nursing theories that incorporate components of the general systems theory frequently provide the framework for the practice of community/public health nursing.
Historically, nurses have made significant contributions to the field of public health. From providing maternal-child care to poor women in the late 1800s, to promoting hygiene among school aged children in the early 1900s, to providing environmental and safety care to industrial workers during World War I, nurses have been instrumental in shaping health policies (Maurer & Smith, 2013). Today, community/public health nurses have a key role in identifying and developing plans of care to address local, national, and international health issues.
Many factors influence the health of communities and populations, including national policies that focus on health promotion. Healthy People, a major national health promotion program issued by the U.S. Surgeon General, identifies major health problems of the nation and sets national goals and objectives targeting health promotion (Maurer & Smith, 2013). If adopted, activities that target health promotion can result in disease prevention.
Maurer, F. A., & Smith, C. M. (2013). Community/public health nursing practice: Health for families and populations (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: W. B. Saunders.
Suppose your organization is concerned about a number of health issues that have either affected an increased number of the residents in the community or show the probability of affecting a larger number of people in the population. Your organizational leaders have asked different health care professionals within the organization, including you, to examine the issues from your perspective, and to submit a report that includes evidence-based ways to address the issues.
You will first need to identify a critical health care issue in your community or state. You may choose either a public health issue, such as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), measles, Lyme disease, asthma, et cetera; or a community health issue, such as uncontrolled diabetes, congestive heart disease, 30-day readmission, et cetera.
Then, look in the library and on the Internet for statistics and peer-reviewed or professional resources to use in preparing your report.
Format this assessment as a professional report. It may help to look at reports or other documents used within your organization and to follow that formatting. You must still follow APA guidelines for in-text citations and references, and include a title page and reference page.
Within the report:
Describe one critical health issue in your community or state that has grown larger or has the potential to become larger. Be sure to include any statistics available on the health issue. Tip: check your county and/or state health department Web site.
Explain the factors that contribute to this health issue. Consider things such as access to health care services, economics, culture, attitude, education, health care policies, and so on.
Describe any interventions your community or state has put in place to address the health care issue. Include information on how long the interventions have been in place, how the community was made aware of the interventions, and so on.
Describe the scope and role of nursing and public health nursing in the interventions to reduce the health issue.
Recommend evidence-based ways the scope of the interventions could be expanded to increase positive health outcomes. Think in terms of cost, efficiency and access, effectiveness, and the use of both conventional and unconventional interventions.