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Discussion Question:

The terms population and community are frequently used interchangeably but there are differences. What are those differences and how do those differences relate to the role of the public health nurse? Are nurses seen as leaders in public health? If yes, what have you observed that supports your answer? If not, why do you think that is true and what do think needs to change? How does public health nursing practice support the core functions of public health? Which of the 10 Essential Health Services are nurses most involved?

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Public Health Nursing

Ginger Arwood posted Jun 25, 2020 5:33 PM

Gibbs' reflective cycle in nursing

This page automatically marks posts as read as you scroll. Adjust automatic marking as read setting The term population-based nursing refers to the targeted practice of nursing to specific groups of people with similar needs to achieve the best outcomes. The term population can also be defined as all people or inhabitants constituting a race, class, or group living within a specified area. The term community is defined as a group of people living in the same area who often share common cultural and historical heritage. The public health nurse works with communities and populations equally, focusing on primary prevention and health promotion. The public health nurse is heavily involved in the education and health prevention of the population and communities and works tirelessly in providing education and health care for the betterment of the neighborhood (American Nurses Association, 2012).

Since the 2000s, public health nursing has emerged to a widely recognized leader of community education and health with nurses leading the way. The health care system has embraced public health nurses as a fundamental approach to achieving the goals of staying healthy amongst individuals within the community. Nurses today are leaders in educating the public regarding health issues and are on the front line to evaluate and inform people regarding healthcare-related issues (Yphantides, Escoboza, & Macchione, 2015). For example, public health nurses provide care and education within public community centers, homes, and workplaces. Some public health nurses will educate the public regarding diabetes care and healthy eating habits. Other public health nurses will inform the public regarding the importance of immunizations and establishing resources within the community (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2014). Public health nurses function in public health of assessment, assurance, and policy development.

The public health nurse’s focus is the promotion of health, maintaining the health of populations, and preventing illness and injury within populations. The 10 essential public health services describe the public health activities communities nurses should undertake. Nursing is most involved in the monitoring of health status and solving community health problems, to inform, educate and empower about health issues, and to link people to health care services to ensure the continuation of health care ( U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2020).


American Nurses Association. (2012). Evolving public health nursing roles: Focus on community participatory health promotion and prevention. American Nurses Association, 7(2). Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2014).

Preparing nurses for leadership in public policy. RWJF. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2020, May 21). CDC – Public health system and the 10 essential public health services – OSTLTS.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yphantides, N., Escoboza, S., & Macchione, N. (2015). Leadership in public health: New competencies for the future. Frontiers in Public Health, 3.

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