Community Nurse

A community nurse is a nurse who specializes in specific groups of populations, families, or communities. A community nurse will often educate these specific groups in the area of health care prevention, nutrition, immunizations, disease prevention, and family. This nurse will also work with health care officials, community leaders and organizations to promote health education in the community.

The Community Nurse: How did it begin?

The Community Nurse, also known as a public health nurse, is a nursing specialty that began in England and New York in the 1850’s. In that time each district was assigned a nurse that was responsible for teaching and promoting health education within her assigned district. In the late 1800’s Florence Nightingale became the first at home nurse which further developed the community nurse to not only educate the general population, but also serve as an in-home nurse to those in poor health. The term has come to include those nurses who specialize in specific populations to promote the well-being of the group of people they are working for and thereby the general population as a whole. Throughout the last century the terms community health care and public health care have been used interchangeably. The significance of the community nurse is that she is one that specializes in a specific group of people within a community rather than the general population at large.

What does the Community Nurse do?

The community nurse is often seen as someone who is seeking to prevent illness rather than simply treating sickness. A community nurse knows the physical and sociological backgrounds of the people with whom she works and can therefore assess the education that needs to take place. Often working in communities with vulnerable populations, the community nurse will educate those in the neighborhood in such things as family planning, immunizations, elderly care, and disease. It is imperative that the community nurse not only have a thorough knowledge of nursing, but also an ability to communicate and teach the people in the communities which may be at risk.

What are the Qualifications to be a Community Nurse?

The community nurse must have a certified nursing license in the state in which she practices. Beyond her medical qualifications, however, this particular nurse must possess an understanding of how to work with people of different cultural, socio-economic, and family backgrounds. The nurse must emphasize patient responsibility and personal care. The focus of community nursing must be preventative in nature. Beyond all these qualifications, the community nurse must be able to exercise professionalism, loving care, and tact in assessing what education needs to take place within certain communities. After the assessment has been made, the community nurse must also be able to work with community leaders to strategically implement health education.

How can I Become a Community Nurse?

You must first of all take the classes required of nurses, and meet all the qualifications of your degree program. After you have completed this you can look for jobs either by location or by specific people groups in which you would like to work. A career as a community nurse is a great way to use your training to help the public and to educate others in how to prevent disease and illness. If you care about others and want to improve society, the community nurse is the job for you.

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