Community Health Nurse
A Community Health Nurse (CHN) is a registered nurse (RN) specializing in health promotion for various communities, infants, children, adolescents, and adults. A community health nurse’s primary role is to identify community health problems and provide health care to patients who may not have access to or afford medical services.
CHNs create intervention plans to address individuals’ and communities’ health, safety, and quality of life needs. They may also identify health issues affecting a particular population, conduct community assessments to identify potential problems, and develop or implement health education programs.
The Value of Community Health Nurses
The role of community health nursing in the healthcare system is critical. According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the United States suffer from chronic conditions and diseases acquired in the community, such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer. CHNs work within the community to provide services for these conditions while educating people on how to prevent them.
CHNs’ work is vital in rural areas, among medically underserved populations, and in economically disadvantaged communities. Many people in these areas lack access to affordable healthcare and educational resources to help them stay healthy. CHNs fill this void by providing care to the uninsured, the poor, and those with low health literacy.
What Is the Role of a Community Health Nurse?
Community Health Nurses (CHNs) work to educate and empower individuals and groups to take responsibility for their health in addition to their traditional role of providing direct patient care in a clinical setting. They are frequently used to educate the public about specific diseases or conditions, such as the importance of breast cancer screening or the dangers of smoking.
CHNs work with other health professionals, educators, and community members to plan and carry out community-level public health initiatives that address the social determinants of health. These nurses are a valuable resource for families, educators, and patients, contributing to a better understanding of community health issues.
Job Description for a Community Health Nurse
CHNs are involved in a variety of activities, including:
Educating communities on disease prevention and healthy lifestyles. This includes teaching people how to provide in-home treatment and support to needy individuals and families. Blood pressure monitoring, pain management, medication administration, and wound care are examples of such services.
Free health screenings for common diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol are provided.
Conducting health assessments to identify risk factors for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease
Counseling people who are at high risk of illness or injury on how to take precautions to avoid infection, including screenings that lead to early disease detection
Explaining how insurance works and assisting uninsured or underinsured individuals in gaining access to healthcare services
Participating in community outreach by disseminating public health information in schools, churches, workplaces, and other public places.
Where Can You Find Community Health Nurses?
Community health nurses’ daily responsibilities are determined by location (rural or urban), and population served (children, adults, or seniors). Community Health Nurses work in various settings, including healthcare clinics and hospitals, physician’s offices, community agencies, and other facilities that provide healthcare to the public. Community health nurses can also be found in places like:
Retirement Communities and Nursing Homes
Shelters for the Homeless
Outpatient and Inpatient Care
Community Health Nurse
Explain the role of the community health nurse in partnership with community stakeholders for population health promotion. Explain why it is important to appraise community resources (nonprofit, spiritual/religious, etc.) as part of a community assessment and why these resources are important in population health promotion.