What is Community and Public Health Nursing Nursing (CHN)?
You might be a registered nursing professional looking for ways to grow your career. A MSN will allow you to advance in many areas, including clinical specialist positions, as well leadership opportunities in education, research and management. One of these options is becoming a leader for community and Public Health Nursing.
The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 is a study published by The National Academy of Medicine. This report focuses on three health areas that the Academy believes should be prioritized for the U.S. in this decade. The three areas of focus are creating a culture of healthy, reducing health disparities and improving the health status of the population. This study acknowledges the fact that it would be irresponsible to overlook the immediate and lasting effects that COVID-19 had in 2020 on the health of communities throughout America. This new awareness should be the foundation of nursing’s future. RNs searching for work are fortunate that there is support for a strong focus on community and health. These community partnerships and programs for public health that were created during the pandemic are still vital and need to be strengthened by leaders who can continue the amazing work that is being done.
Public and community nursing in the USA are founded on the principle of equal access to healthcare. The American Public Health Association has a beautiful definition of public nursing in this well-sourced report. “Public health nurses provide leadership to emerging advances in population healthcare — especially in terms of addressing social inequities.” How does the public health nurse reach everyone? It’s a difficult question to answer, and it sparks a conversation about access.
The community health nurse’s role is to provide healthcare access for those in need. Although these people might not live near a major hospital or have easy access to one, they most likely have at least one of the following community institutions.
Community health centers
- Correctional facilities
- Religious institutions
- Health departments in the federal, state and county levels
- Non-government aid agencies
These institutions might have a community nurse. You can find open positions at government facilities, local hospitals, and visiting nurse agencies by looking on the Association of Public Health Nurses’ career board.
The pandemic has made the role and responsibilities of community and public nurses more well-known than ever before. Public health nurses are able to work with community leaders and have a positive attitude. This is essential for the first steps in any community-based health project. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is known as a Community Health Assessment (CHA). This is a systematic approach to identifying the key areas of need in a population. For example, a CHA could ask the following important questions: “What health needs are being addressed?” These could be STD prevention or nutrition education or a project to quit smoking. The next, more difficult question is “What resources exist, and what are they required to obtain them?” This may include budgetary funds, community partnerships, or charitable contributions. It is important to ask the question, “What are the unique sensitivities of this community?” The position of any religious, cultural or political institution will have an impact on the program delivery. The answers to these questions will determine the success of any program. The community health programs should be tailored to the needs of the people they are addressing.
The MSN education program provides both classroom lessons and practical experience for community and public nurses. Programs that offer real-life experiences can help you qualify for higher levels of leadership with greater salaries and more responsibilities. A flexible curriculum and career-focused curriculum are two of the most important things for aspiring public health nurses. Working while studying for an MSN is a wise decision that will have long-term rewards. It’s a smart way to continue making money and to invest in a quality education that offers a low tuition rate (compared to CT non-profit colleges) so you can be sure your financial future is in good shape long before you get your first job in community health.