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Public Health Nursing and the Future of Health Care

Public health nursing is the practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations. Identification of a specific disease or condition and how nurses play a role in the preventive care of that disease or condition.

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Classmate Post #1

The promotion and protection of health fall under the scope of nursing practice. Furthermore, public health nursing involves promoting and protecting the health of populations; for example, nurses play an integral role in preventive care for heart disease. Heart disease includes coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure, plus many more. There are several primary prevention guidelines for nurses to incorporate into practice that include lifestyle changes, diet changes, and reduction or elimination of aggravating factors (Pearson, Blair, Daniels, Eckel, Fair, Fortmann, & Hong, 2002). Therefore, education is a crucial component in the prevention of heart disease, which is also within the scope of practice for nurses and one of the most important nursing responsibilities. According to Kulbok, Thatcher, Park, and Meszaros (2012), the primary role of nurses is to advocate for the patients, educate the patients, and collaborate with the interprofessional team when promoting the health of their patients.

As an advocate working to prevent heart disease and promote heart health, the nurse acts on behalf of the patient to complete assessments to identify risks for the disease that a patient would otherwise be unaware of. As an educator, the nurse and the patient identify preventive techniques to prevent heart disease and promote heart health. The nurse teaches the patient to modify their lifestyle as a whole, to incorporate a regular exercise plan, modify their meals to be more nutritious and heart-healthy, and to cease social habits that put the patient at risk such as smoking. As a collaborator, the nurse works with community resources that help enforce the education on the prevention, which for heart disease includes working with a physician to get testing regularly. Overall, the nurse’s most crucial role in preventive care is promoting and protecting health by educating the patients on how to have a healthier lifestyle.

Substantive Response #1

Cardiovascular disorders are some of the most significant health issues to be addressed. I agree that nursing professionals play a key role in preventing heart diseases through completing the roles of an advocate, educator, and collaborator. Clearly, nurses are mainly educators as they consult patients on the major risk factors as well as ways to mitigate them (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2015). Being an advocate implies the focus on the needs of particular groups. It is essential to pay specific attention to such vulnerable groups as low-income individuals and underprivileged groups as they are prone to the development of cardiovascular diseases due to their socioeconomic status, the lack of access to high-quality healthcare services, and so on. Finally, collaboration is an important element of nurses’ work as they should collaborate with other healthcare professionals within the facilities they work, organizations and agencies as well as the community.

Classmate Post #2

Nurses play a huge role in disease prevention. Their biggest role in the prevention of any disease is educating the client. Simple explaining to a patient the importance of hand washing and how exactly is prevents the spread of disease is one-way nurses prevent diseases everyday (CDC Features, 2017). A specific disease that nurses play a role in preventing is hepatitis B. According to the World Health Organization hepatitis B vaccinations should be implemented worldwide to children immediately when they are born followed by follow up vaccinations later in life (Schweitzer, 2017). Nurses not only administer this vaccination, but they educate the patient and their families about the importance of receiving this vaccination and the follow up booster shots to prevent this disease. It’s extremely crucial that nurses explain the disease process to clients so that they truly understand why they should receive a vaccination and therefore will be more inclined to get it. Education is a huge part of a nurses job and the most vital way to prevent disease from spreading.

Substantive Response #2

Nursing professionals provide the information concerning the most appropriate lifestyles, diets, exercise plans, and behaviors when working with patients suffering from various diseases. When it comes to hepatitis, the role of the nurse educator is extended to the advocacy of vaccination. The spread of Hepatitis B can be prevented through the vaccination but some people are ignorant or distrustful as to vaccination. Nurses should educate people through providing the data on the benefits of vaccination as well as risks associated with the choice not to receive the vaccine. At that, public nurses are not confined to healthcare facilities but tend to be effective educators in educational establishments. Whelan et al. (2014) report the benefits of several strategies used in some schools. These measures include consent return, a thank-you note to teachers, education to parents, students and teachers, and so on.

Classmate Post #3

One of the responsibilities of a nurse is disease prevention and health promotion. One disease in particular that nurses play a vital role in is HIV/AIDS prevention. Nurses take precautions in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS from patient to patient by wearing gloves, gowns, proper eye wear, and proper needle and linen disposal when handling bodily fluids (Gardner, 1991). Nurses also take action in preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS by patient education and counseling. Whether the patient is or is not infected with HIV/AIDS, the nurse’s role is to educate the patient about contraceptives, the use of clean needles, the importance of not sharing needles, encouraging infected mothers to use formula instead of breast milk, and the importance of transmission through infected bodily fluids. Through patient education the nurse has the ability to decrease the transmission of HIV/AIDS, and ability to provide health promotion. Educating the patient also makes the patient more aware of what the disease is; including treatment, prevention, and resources of medical care relating to HIV/AIDS (AIDS Education and Training Center Program, 2014). The patients age and lifestyle may also be a factor to consider when the nurse is teaching about HIV/AIDS prevention and transmission. For example, if an adolescent is diagnosed with HIV it may be appropriate to teach and emphasize to the adolescent about contraceptive use and safe sex practices. However, if a patient has a history of chronic drug use through needle sharing, it may be beneficial for the nurse to emphasize his/her teaching around the use of clean needles. Nurses also prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by providing screenings and resources to patient’s for HIV/AIDS. Regardless of the patients lifestyle or history, nurses play an essential role in preventing and caring for patients with HIV/AIDS by assessments, patient education, and providing valuable resources to patients who are and who aren’t infected with HIV/AIDS.

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Substantive Response #3

When discussing the ways nurses contribute to HIV/AIDS prevention the student mentions two valuable points. Nurses are instrumental in preventing the spread of the disease from patient to healthcare professionals through the use of specific tools and strategies. Apart from that, nursing professionals educate patients and discuss such aspects as safe sex, clean needles, and so on. At that, the student focuses on the clinical setting. Public nurses can reach more people through educating students of various educational establishments. Borawski et al. (2015) found that school nurses can contribute to prevention as they are better informed as compared to school teachers. At the same time, it is noted that students are more prepared and feel more comfortable when their teachers provide the information, which unveils the existing gap in the practice. It is essential to make sure that nurses can be effective educators outside healthcare facilities.

Although the United States spends more per capita on health care, it ranks below other developed nations in life expectancy and other health measures. To reverse this trend, the future of health care will involve building a culture of health. The meaning of the building a “culture of health”?

Classmate Post #1

It is unfortunate that even when the United States spends more per capita on health care, it is still ranked below other developed countries. Everyone deserves to live the healthiest life possible. A culture of health is defined as one in which good health and well-being flourish across social sectors, demographics, and geographic. Developing healthy reasonable communities directs public and private decision making; and everyone has the opportunity to make choices that lead to healthy lifestyles (“What is a Culture of Health?” n.d.). There are three ways to make health a shared value. The first way is fostering cross sector collaboration to improve well-being. This area of work tries to transform methods and processes so that established health delivery settings are connected with the community setting that influence residents’ health. The second way is by creating healthier, more equitable communities. This area of work focuses on improving well-being while removing disparities in health so that the area in which one lives does not increase one’s likelihood of experiencing poor health outcomes. The last is transforming health and health care systems. This area of work focuses on incorporating health care and public health services in improving access to high quality health care and reducing avoidable barriers to equitable health care (Plough, 2015). As nurses and health care practitioners on the frontlines, the professional and moral obligation of the nurse is to advocate for social equity, adequate welfare, disability payments, and wages that people can live on. Public health nurse leaders can also play a role by monitoring child and family poverty, alleviating the effects of child and family poverty, and bringing about social change to reduce poverty. Nurses play a vital role in reducing poverty and its impact on health and well-being. Nurses are obligated to be involved in activities that tackle health inequities and the social conditions like income inequality and poverty (Cohen & McKay, 2010). An example of a health care policy is Medicaid. This has transformed health care for low-income families and individuals, including children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and parents.

Substantive Response #1

The student provides valuable insights into ways to create the culture of health, but these points are quite general and mainly associated with the combined effort of healthcare professionals (led by nurses) and policy makers. However, little attention is paid to particular ways nurses can contribute to the development of such a culture. They can contribute to changing the way health and health care are viewed in the society. I agree that Medicaid is an important policy that helps people access healthcare services and receive the necessary training from nurses. Kemppainen, Tossavainen, and Turunen (2013) state that nurses can help people change their viewpoints, but it is essential to make sure that nurses share these values. Nurses should have the corresponding values, are empowered, and have the necessary knowledge concerning available policies and resources (Kemppainen et al., 2013). Therefore, nurses should be trained to have the necessary qualification.

Classmate Post #2

Evidence for Action (2017) states that a “Culture of Health is broadly defined as one in which good health and well-being flourish across geographic, demographic, and social sectors; fostering healthy equitable communities guides public and private decision making; and everyone has the opportunity to make choices that lead to healthy lifestyle”. A culture of health needs to be access to all and not have any type of values that one must obtain. It needs to meet a variety of people cultural needs and remain free of biased opinions. A good culture of health will include a variety of aspects and give access to multi-faced population. Nurses can help create a culture of health because they are leaders and educators. Dentzer(2017) states, “Nurse-led teams carefully consider each patient’s unique needs”. Nurses are advocates and can help to create the culture of health because they speak up and take action for everyone no matter what race one is or what one believes in. A health care policy that is an example is making insurance affordable to all no matter what the ethnicity of one is. Making health insurance affordable is very important for all aspects of nursing. Health care is very expensive and when it cannot be affordable people then will not seek for medical attention causing their health to degenerate. So nurses are important in advocating and educating their patients on cost and helping to build a culture of health.

Substantive Response #2

The student highlights two important aspects related to the development of the culture of health. First, nurses should provide the information concerning affordable or free services available to patients. I agree that the US healthcare facilities are very expensive, which can be a reason for people’s distrust of the system and its effort to develop the culture of health. People simply do not respond. The second point is associated with nurses’ cultural sensitivity. Nursing professionals should speak the language of patients to encourage them to live healthier lives. Chang, Yang, and Kuo (2013) found that the trust among patients often depends on nurses’ language proficiency and multicultural competence. It is essential to make sure that healthcare facilities have nurses speaking languages of different language groups and know a lot about cultural traditions and values. This knowledge will help nurses create trustful relationships with patients and develop the culture of health.

Classmate Post #3

It is interesting to know that the United States spends more per capita on health care, and is still ranked lower than other nations in the world in regard to mortality rate. To build a culture of health means that good healthy lifestyle is displayed to all members in a demographic area regardless of the social stressors that may be occurring in any individual’s life (University of California, 2017). An example of how public health nurse leaders can play a role in building a culture of health is by educating our patients about preventable diseases and utilizing the teach back method to make sure the patient understood the patient teaching. For example, the public health nurse can educate the community about contraceptive use and health screenings to prevent the development of an STI/STD. Public health nurses play a pivotal role in disease prevention and patient education, so proper patient teaching is essential when educating the public about disease transmission and prevention. One public health organization that supports the culture of health is The World Health Organization. The World Health Organization aims to provide healthier populations worldwide by working with different governments to ensure that the highest level of health is attained to all people within the world (World Health Organization, 2017). The World Health Organization is a group that strives to prevent disease and promote health to individuals of all ages, and social backgrounds. Such as, assisting maternal women in a healthy pregnancy, providing immunizations to communities who lack attainable resources, and promoting safety through clean air and water (World Health Organization, 2017).

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Substantive Response #3

One of the most interesting points mentioned is associated with the techniques used by nurses to facilitate the development of the culture of health. Teach-back strategy can be quite effective as it implies discussion that can change people’s views and behaviors. I would like to add that nurses should be empowered, have access to resources and have the necessary training to contribute to the creation of the culture of health (Nies & McEwen, 2014). Healthy People 2020 program can be regarded as a major guideline or framework for the development of a new society where health is one of the primary values. Prevention of diseases and promotion of healthy lifestyles and diets is a key to the development of the culture of health. Nurses will advocate this culture in clinical settings and outside their healthcare facilities.


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Nies, M., & McEwen, M. (2014). Community/public health nursing. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Kulbok, P. A., Thatcher, E., Park, E., & Meszaros, P. S. (2012). Evolving Public Health Nursing Roles: Focus on Community Participatory Health Promotion and Prevention. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(2), 1. Web.

Pearson, T. A., Blair, S. N., Daniels, S. R., Eckel, R. H., Fair, J. M., Fortmann, S. P., & Hong, Y. (2002). AHA guidelines for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke: 2002 update. Circulation, 106(3), 388-391.

University of California. (2017). What is a culture of health. Web.

World Health Organization. (2017). Who we are, what we do. Web.

Chang, H., Yang, Y., & Kuo, Y. (2013). Cultural sensitivity and related factors among community health nurses. Journal of Nursing Research, 21(1), 67-73.

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Why Nursing is Key to a Culture of Health. (2017). Web.

Plough, A. L. (2015). Building a Culture of Health: A Critical Role for Public Health Services and Systems Research. American Journal of Public Health, 105(Suppl 2), S150–S152. Web.

Cohen, B. E., & McKay, M. (2010). The Role of Public Health Agencies in Addressing Child and Family Poverty: Public Health Nurses’ Perspectives. The Open Nursing Journal, 4, 60–71. Web.

Kemppainen, V., Tossavainen, K., & Turunen, H. (2013). Nurses’ roles in health promotion practice: an integrative review. Health Promotion International, 28(4), 490-501.

AIDS Education and Training Center Program (AETC). (2014). Guide for HIV/AIDS clinical care. Web.

Gardner C. (1991). Role of nurses in the education, treatment, and prevention of occupational HIV transmission. Web.

CDC Features. (2017). Web.

Schweitzer, A., Akmatov, M. K., & Krause, G. (2017). Hepatitis B vaccination timing: results from demographic health surveys in 47 countries. Bulletin Of The World Health Organization, 95(3), 199-209G. Web.

Whelan, N., Steenbeek, A., Martin-Misener, R., Scott, J., Smith, B., & D’Angelo-Scott, H. (2014). Engaging parents and schools improves uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: Examining the role of the public health nurse. Vaccine, 32(36), 4665-4671.

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