Essential Components of Public Health Nursing
Public health nursing (PHN) is concerned with ten essential components that guide professionals’ practice. As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), the components of public health nursing are the following:
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- Monitoring the population’s health condition for problem identification;
- Diagnosing and investigating the identified problems;
- Informing and empowering the population about health issues;
- Mobilizing partnerships for problem-solving;
- Developing appropriate strategies and policies;
- Enforcing regulations to improve health;
- Linking the population to appropriate healthcare services;
- Ensuring workforce competence;
- Evaluating the effectiveness of the implemented policies and strategies;
- Researching innovative ideas targeted at the improvement of the overall population health.
Differences Between Community and Public Health Nursing
There are several differences between community health nursing (CHN) and public health nursing. For instance, community health nurses focus on delivering the available services to those in need while public health nurses are concerned with the assessment of needs exhibited by the population. Also, community nurses promote improved health of specific groups and families while public health nurses plan for such improvement for communities as a whole.
Therefore, the key difference between the two professions is that community nurses address health needs on an individual basis while public health nurses specialize in caring for the population in general and thus develop the necessary resources to achieve their goals. Further differentiation between public and community health nursing is needed to define professionals’ roles and responsibilities and avoid possible confusion.
Philibin et al. (2010) raised an important issue of the need to define and redesign the role of public health nurses in order to focus their efforts on specific goals rather than having to address several issues simultaneously. Due to the rapid changes in the demographics, culture, and social environments, it is essential for public health nurses to help the population adapt to the changes and manage those health issues that harm populations the most.
The proposal of the case-based health management model can be considered a solution due to its ability to address public health nursing issues accordingly. Since the objective of such case management is the provision of high-quality and cost-effective care to meet the changing needs of the population, it is expected that the redefinition of public health nurses’ roles will contribute to the enhancement of this healthcare role.
Public Health Interventions
Due to the broad expertise of public health nurses and the variety of settings in which they can operate (e.g., clinics, homes, schools, shelters), there is a need for defining a set of effective interventions that professionals use for accomplishing their objectives (Minnesota Department of Health, n.d.). The “intervention model” has been adopted by such states as Minnesota to promote collaboration with other states for developing a framework of health to benefit the public and communities.
Minnesota collaborated with educators and public health nurses from Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dacota to promote the introduction of effective interventions that go beyond the public health nursing and also involve other disciplines of public health (Minnesota Department of Health, 2001). Thus, close collaboration between states could facilitate the development of a clear public health framework for enhancing the delivery of care to the population and identifying the key health challenges.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). The public health system & the 10 essential public health services. Web.
Minnesota Department of Health. (2001). Public health interventions: Applications for public health nursing practice. Web.
Minnesota Department of Health. (n.d.). Public health interventions: Applications for nursing practice. Web.
Philibin, C. N., Griffiths, C., Byrne, G., Horan, P., Brady, A., & Begley, C. (2010). The role of the public health nurse in a changing society. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 66(4), 743-752.