Importance of Community Nursing
Community health nursing plays an important role in people’s life. It is a crucial constituent part of the health care system. The community nursing in the USA requires some efficient decisions and improvements. This paper will focus on the perspective of community nursing by enlightening its significance and giving an account of the key recommendations provided by the Nursing Community, which are aimed at changing the role of nurses and improving their work.
In 1990, the Task Force on Community Health Nursing Education, Association of Community Health Nursing Education defined community health nursing as “the synthesis of nursing theory and public health theory applied to promoting and preserving the health of populations” (Hitchcock, Schubert, & Thomas, 2003, p. 5). According to the definition in question, community health nursing is taking care of “individuals, families and groups in a community” (Hitchcock, Schubert, & Thomas, 2003, p. 5). This organization helps sick people (in spite of the age, race, and kind of disease); moreover, they inform the community of possible ways to stay healthy throughout the life. Overall, promoting, protecting, and maintaining the human’s health and the health of the community as a whole are the major focuses of community health nursing (Hitchcock, Schubert & Thomas, 2003, p.11).
Nowadays, millions of Americans suffer from incurable diseases and even more people have some harmful habits. Therefore, the role of the community health nursing, which cures and teaches how to stay healthy, cannot be overestimated. Consequently, the government must pay more attention to their needs to make their work more efficient as this will result in a healthier nation. The report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change Advancing Health” formulated the major nursing recommendations, which are as follows:
1. Remove scope-of-practice barriers.
2. Expand opportunities for nurses to lead and diffuse collaborative improvement efforts.
3. Ensure that nurses engage in lifelong learning.
4. Double the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020.
5. Increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.
6. Implement nurse residency programs.
7. Prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health.
8. Build an infrastructure for the collection and analysis of interprofessional health care workforce data (Institute of Medicine, 2011, pp. S-8-S-12).
These points pertain to nursing as a whole and accordingly to community nursing, its inalienable part, as well. Hence, in the future the community health nursing can be presented as a more independent branch with an enhanced infrastructure and more qualified personnel. It is also important to highlight that a third of the health care professions in the USA belongs to nursing. Thus, the Department of Health cannot neglect the needs, demands, and suggestions of community health nursing. Their commitment is constantly improving the quality of patients care. Therefore, they should attain a leadership role in the health care system reform. Meanwhile, the reform can help community nursing to become even more effective and achieve its main goals, such as a healthy lifestyle promotion, healthy communities encouragement, personal and public systems enhancement, and the reduction/prevention of diseases (Lundy & Janes, 2009, p. 20). These steps can have an immense impact on people’s understanding of being healthy.
To summarize, community health nursing is an essential element of the USA health care system, which has many functions and plays an important role in the Americans’ lives. It promotes and saves health of every person and community in general. The health care system must implement some changes to make community health nursing’s work more effective. In the future, community nursing may undergo the transformation, which consists of the following key aspects: better education for nurses, cancelling scope-of-practice barriers, and creating better infrastructure for dealing with interprofessional healthcare workforce data. The modernization of the current community health nursing and a nursing system as a whole is a chance to achieve better quality of health care and to make the society healthier.
- Hitchcock, J. E., Schubert, P. E., & Thomas, S. A. (Eds.). (2003). Community health nursing: Caring in action (2nd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Learning.
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change advancing health. Washington, DC: Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing.; Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Retrieved from http://www.thefutureofnursing.org/sites/default/files/Future%20of%20Nursing%20Report_0.pdf
- Lundy, K. S., & Janes, S. J. (2009). Community health nursing: Caring for the public’s health. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.