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Community health nurses provide holistic treatments outside hospital settings. This fulfilling job lets nurses work on the ground, interacting directly with the public, to raise awareness and help stop the spread of preventable diseases and illnesses. Learn more about what these professionals do and the education needed to become one.
What is a Community/ Public Health Nurse?
3 community health nursing jobs
As a community health nurse, you can pursue a variety of specialties centered on a specific area of health. The availability of different specialties ensures you find a focus that best aligns with your interests and skill set. Here are some community health nursing specializations or jobs to consider:
1. Home health nursing
Visiting or home health nurses provide health care services to individuals such as seniors, pregnant women or patients recovering from surgery. They may also help individuals with disabilities or chronic or terminal illnesses. Their most common duty is helping these patients with their daily activities.
2. School nursing
Community health nurses working in schools may work at the board level to create programs or services for a school district or individual school. They help develop health and education programs, such as tobacco and healthy eating, to students. These community health nurses also provide health care services to students and staff members, whether by dispensing medication or caring for their ailments as needed. In addition, a schools community health nurse may offer hearing, vision or dental screenings.
3. Occupational nursing
Also known as corporate nursing, occupational nursing is the application of nursing principles and procedures to maintain the health and safety of all employees in the workforce. Occupational community health nurses provide a company with services that promote, protect and restore the health, wellness and safety of all employees. They may also administer clinical nursing, first aid or emergency care services to employees as needed.
What is community health nursing?
Community health nursing is a nursing specialty that focuses on the medical guidance and health of communities. Nurses with this specialty, known as community health nurses, identify health problems in their local community and provide medical attention to patients without access to health care services. In some cases, these patients arent able to afford health care services.
Unlike traditional nurses, community health nurses serve an entire community rather than an individual patient. To solve complex challenges in a community, they may conduct an assessment to determine the type of care thats required in the area. Community health nurses may provide care to patients in schools, agencies or institutions who have specific health care needs. Some health issues they may try to control or eliminate in a community include:
Overall, they promote health and wellness, the prevention of health issues, the treatment of diseases and disorders, rehabilitation and research.
What are the requirements for becoming a community health nurse?
Community health nurses require a bachelors degree in community or public health nursing. Its best to start as a registered nurse (RN), which requires you to earn a nursing degree and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. After earning a nursing degree, its important to complete years of nursing experience to improve your knowledge and skills through hands-on application. If you want a job in higher education, clinical research or senior-level administration, it helps to have a masters degree. You can also consider the Advanced Public Health Nurse certification exam to help distinguish you from other candidates.
Please note that none of the companies or certifications mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Frequently asked questions about community health nursing
Learning more about community health nurses can help you determine whether to pursue this path in the medical field. Here are some common questions about community health nursing:
Where do community health nurses work?
Community health nurses work in a variety of locations, including:
Your duties as a community health nurse slightly differ based on your work environment.
How much does a community health nurse earn?
What is the job outlook for community health nurses?
What skills does a community health nurse require?
As a community health nurse, its important to have hard and soft skills that help you provide optimal care and services to your community. Here are some common skills for all types of community health nursing jobs:
What can a community health nurse do?
- Medical treatment.
- Health education.
- Collaboration with other healthcare workers and with government agencies.
Is a community health nurse the same as a public health nurse?
- Home care.
- Case management.
- Clinical nursing.
- Corporate nursing – most often called Occupational Nursing.
- School nursing.
- Pharmaceutical nursing.