Community nursing centers on educating the public about medical issues and promoting wellness. This field of nursing also focuses on stopping the spread of contagious diseases and reducing the occurrence of health conditions such as:
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Kidney and heart disease
- Sexually transmitted diseases
How Do Nurses Practice Community Nursing?
Nurses practice community nursing by serving groups of people rather than one patient at a time. They provide care to communities — often rural or inner-city — that cannot afford healthcare or do not have access to it. Nurses work to identify health, safety and nutritional problems, and implement interventions to address those concerns. Here are just a few of the duties of a community health nurse:
- Assessing patients
- Providing treatments
- Managing common ailments
- Administering vaccinations and immunizations
- Distributing preventive health-related items such as condoms or medications
- Conducting health screenings and educational programs
- Designing plans for interventions, care and services
- Developing policy by using data gathered during assessments
Is a Nursing Shortage Occurring In the United States?
According to the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis report Supply and Demand Projections of the Nursing Workforce: 2014-2030, a nursing shortage and surplus is projected to occur in certain areas across the country. The top five states predicated to have a significant nurse deficit by 2030 are California, Texas, New Jersey, South Carolina and Alaska.
Tennessee, on the other hand, is expected to have a surplus of nurses. The demand in Tennessee between the years 2014 to 2030 is estimated to be 82,200 with a supply of 90,600 nurses.
What Factors Are Creating a Shortage of Nurses?
The causes for the scarcity of nurses around the U.S include:
- A significant portion of the nursing workforce reaching retirement age
- Not enough nurse educators to prepare a new generation
- Growing patient population that is 65 years or older with one or more chronic health conditions
- Inability to retain nurses because they are unsatisfied with their job
- Unequal distribution of nurses, which is leaving rural and urban areas with an insufficient supply of RNs
How Can Community Nursing Alleviate the Shortage of Nurses In Some Locations?
Community nursing can help alleviate the shortage of nurses by expanding into underserved rural and urban locations throughout America. RNs may need to travel to connect with communities that have poor health literacy and are struggling with untreated medical problems.
How Can Rural and Urban Communities Benefit From Community Nursing?
Community nursing is essential for building solid relationships with communities in order to reduce health risks. Nurses may also gain support from organizations that can assist in promoting healthy lifestyle choices and offer services or programs that contribute to the well-being of community members.
Unfortunately, there are disparities in healthcare and the geographical shortage of nurses adds to the inequality. It is imperative that nurses are present in underpopulated or economically poor regions to offer assistance and care that is tailored to the needs of the community. If you are an RN with an associate degree who is considering a career in community nursing, an online RN to BSN may be the next step to a career delivering group-based care.
Learn more about Austin Peay State University's online RN to BSN program.
Sources:HRSA: Supply and Demand Projections of the Nursing Workforce: 2014-2030
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