Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health

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Nurses can play an integral part in population health, but leadership and technology training needs to be a larger part of nurse training. That’s according to a Robert Wood johnson Foundation (RWJF) study released in September 2017. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

The report finds that public health nursing at local and state agencies, in community and ambulatory settings, and in schools will continue to grow as population health strategies help identify where the biggest healthcare gaps exi

How nurses benefit population health initiatives

Many population health strategies include looking at patients holistically, including social, economic, and cultural determinants, and nurses are already trained in those areas to deliver patient care, according to the study.

Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN, assistant vice president for RWJF Program staff,

“Nurses are trained to think holistically, to consider the context of a patient’s life and how that impacts his or her health,” says Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN, assistant vice president for RWJF Program staff,  who commissioned the study. Whole care also means assessments of the patient’s healthcare environment, which can include acute, ambulatory, home, behavioral health and community interventions. “Because of the nature of their roles, nurses often spend more face-to-face time with patients, which allows them to gain insight into the community and societal factors that impact patients’ lives and health. Armed with this insight, nurses can work with primary care physicians to help connect patients to resources within the community that can improve their overall well-being.” NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

How to better utilize nurses

1.      Encourage collaboration and dialogue

Unfortunately, nurses aren’t trained for leadership positions and are rarely a part of population health strategy development, the study finds. Kuehnert says that scope of practice regulations that vary based on the state, often restrict nurses’ time and ability to expand their roles.

“Culturally and historically, nurses—unless they hold formal leadership roles—tend not to view themselves as leaders. Nurses must understand, internalize, and act on the knowledge that nurses can be and are leaders, irrespective of their titles—and that by collaborating with policymakers, businesses, health systems, and more, nurses can exponentially increase the impact they have, well beyond the healthcare setting,” Kuehnert says. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

2.      Help them use data to focus efforts

Increasing nurses’ capacity to make data-driven decisions is another part of the future of population health nursing. According to the study, nurse care coordination for low-risk patients that utilize healthcare services the most has been found to be the most cost-effective way to improve outcomes. Of all patients with high healthcare utilization, 60% to 75% can be classified as low-risk populations. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

“We’ll also need to better prepare nurses for key evolving population-focused nursing roles in fields that include care management, chronic disease management, and population data analysis. These roles require core clinical knowledge and understanding combined with skills and abilities to identify and evaluate community resources, make and track referrals to community-based services, and measure outcomes,” Kuehnert says.

3.      Increase their technology literacy

Rapid advancements in health, EHRs and mobile devices are a part of clinical care, prevention, and health communications that will continue to integrate into daily use for clinicians.

“Education should provide students with the technical skills they need to compile and analyze population and community data in order to understand the impact of the community conditions on patients’ health,” Kuehnert says. “And how they, as nurses, can influence change within their communities to improve health.”

Kuehnert says the insights nurses gain about patients’ life circumstances need to be systematically shared to inform care by the entire multidisciplinary team.

“We need to share bright spots of nursing leadership for population health improvement and spread them widely,” he says. “Widespread adoption of population-focused nursing practice will likely take place over the next five to 10 years as mindsets and expectations shift in nursing and healthcare.” NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

most important public health problems and concerns

The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control updated its Prevention Status Reports Monday, which ranks the biggest public health issues in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Prevention Status Reports organize information on state public health policies and practices in a format that is easy to use for public health professionals, community leaders and policy makers. The reports allow these individuals to understand their state’s status and identify improvement areas. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

According to the reports, the 10 most important public health problems and concerns are (listed alphabetically):

  • Alcohol-related harms
  • Food safety
  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • HIV
  • Motor vehicle injury
  • Nutrition, physical activity and obesity
  • Prescription drug overdose
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Tobacco use
The Nurse’s Role in Community Health

In the past, caregivers journeyed on horseback to the homes of their neighbors to provide medical services. These caregivers were crucial to reducing the mortality rates in their communities. After the civil war, hospitals were built. This began the implementation of organized healthcare. Today, nurses practice in a variety of settings and community health is again re-emerging as an integral part of providing care to everyone. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

What Is Community Health Nursing?

Community health nursing is a discipline that incorporates evidenced-based research along with advances in science and new approaches for improving the health The practice takes into consideration the cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds of the people in the community to ensure appropriate interaction and sensitivity when working with them.

A community is a group of people in a specific location, which includes places where people live, work and go to school. Most people belong to multiple types of communities. Community health nursing is commonly practiced in geographic locations like cities and rural areas.

What Is the Goal of Community Health Nursing?

The goal of community health nursing is to promote, protect and preserve the health of the public. Community health nursing involves these basic concepts:

  • Promote healthy lifestyle
  • Prevent disease and health problems
  • Provide direct care
  • Educate community about managing chronic conditions and making healthy choices
  • Evaluate a community’s delivery of patient care and wellness projects
  • Institute health and wellness programs
  • Conduct research to improve healthcare

What Is the Role of a Community Health Nurse? NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

The primary role of community health nurses is to provide treatment to patients. Additionally, community health nurses offer education to community members about maintaining their health so that they can decrease the occurrence of diseases and deaths. They plan educational assemblies, hand -out fliers, conduct health screenings, dispense medications and administer immunizations.

Nurses also may distribute health-related items like condoms and pregnancy tests. Examples of some health issues that community health nurses try to control or eliminate are:

  • Infectious and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition
  • Substance abuse
  • Smoking
  • Teen pregnancy

Where Do Community Health Nurses Work? NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Community health nurses work in hospitals, community centers, clinics, schools and government health agencies. Community health nurses are important to regions where healthcare is not easily accessible, so they can travel to remote places and isolated areas of a city.

How Do You Become a Community Health Nurse?

To become a community health nurse you must first work as a registered nurse. If you only have an associate degree you might want to consider completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. Many schools like Northeastern State University (NSU) offer RN to BSN programs. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

NSU has an online RN to BSN program that includes the course Community Health Nursing. This course examines the theory and research used in nursing and the public health practice, which promotes and preserves the health of communities. Students are given the opportunity to apply their current knowledge and what they learn in the course. They are paired with a community and other healthcare professionals to experience community health nursing.

Nursing care should be available to every American. Throughout the country, there are entire communities of people prone to chronic illnesses, infectious diseases and economic hardships. Community health nurses have the ability to improve the welfare of individuals and their communities. They are at the forefront of bringing quality patient care to the most vulnerable and under served members of society. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Community Health Nurse Roles and Functions
  1. Identifies needs, priorities, and problems of individuals, families, and communities
  2. Formulates municipal health plan in the absence of a medical doctor
  3. Interprets and implements nursing plan, program policies, memorandum, and circular for the concerned staff personnel
  4. Provides technical assistance to rural health midwives in health matters
Provider of Nursing Care
  1. Provides direct nursing care to sick or disabled in the home, clinic, school, or workplace
  2. Develops the family’s capability to take care of the sick, disabled, or dependent member
Community Organizer
  1. Motivates and enhances community participation in terms of planning, organizing, implementing, and evaluating health services
  2. Initiates and participates in community development activities
Coordinator of Services
  1. Coordinates with individuals, families, and groups for health related services provided by various members of the health team
  2. Coordinates nursing program with other health programs like environmental sanitation, health education, dental health, and mental health
Trainer/Health Educator
  1. Identifies and interprets training needs of the RHMs, Barangay Health Workers (BHW), and hilots
  2. Conducts training for RHMs and helots on promotion and disease prevention
  3. Conducts pre and post-consultation conferences for clinic clients; acts as a resource speaker on health and health related services NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper
  4. Initiates the use of trio-media (radio/TV, cinema plugs, and print ads) for health education purposes
  5. Conducts per-marital counseling
Health Monitor
  • Detects deviation from health of individuals, families, groups, and communities through contacts/visits with them
Role Model
  • Provides good example of healthful living to the members of the community
Change Agent
  • Motivates changes in health behavior in individuals, families, groups, and communities that also include lifestyle in order to promote and maintain health
  1. Prepares and submits required reports and records
  2. Maintain adequate, accurate, and complete recording and reporting
  3. Reviews, validates, consolidates, analyzes, and interprets all records and reports NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper
  4. Prepares statistical data/chart and other data presentation
  1. Participates in the conduct of survey studies and researches on nursing and health-related subjects
  2. Coordinates with government and non-government organization in the implementation of studies/research


Public health nurses have been working as community advocates, educators, and providers of critical public health services since 1893. One of the first public health nursing practices was the Henry Street Settlement in New York City where Lillian Wald and other nurses provided home visits, health education, and community development support to immigrant communities on the Lower East Side. The Henry Street Settlement later became the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, a non-profit organization that continues to provide public health nursing and healthcare services to all New York residents. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Public health nurses are the largest group of providers of public health services. They provide a variety of essential services to the communities in which they work. Public health nurses are qualified to deliver clinical services such as immunizations, well-baby care, senior home visits, and school health visits. They also work in teams that monitor community health trends and risk factors, help communities set local health priorities, and design and implement health education programs to minimize health risks. Advanced practice public health nurses may serve as leaders of community and state health departments and have responsibilities for planning and implementing programs to support the health of the population.

The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 expands public health and prevention programs to support communities and individuals. This law also establishes a National Prevention and Public Health Council to provide coordination across all federal agencies and government programs concerned with public health, health education and disease prevention services. The emphasis on public health in this legislation signals a significant federal commitment to support the work of health departments and public health professionals throughout the United States. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper


The primary role of the public health nurse is to work within the community to support population health and deliver preventive health care services. Public health nurses use their skills to support population health in eight domains of practice:

  • Analysis and assessment of communities using available data and collecting additional data to provide the information necessary to assess, plan, implement and evaluate community health.
  • Program planning and policy development to support the health of communities, families and individuals.
  • Communication with community stakeholders, families and individuals to determine knowledge and attitudes about needed and available health and health services.
  • Cultural competency that enables effective practice with diverse individuals, families, and groups within the community of care. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper
  • Community dimensions of practice including health service planning, advocacy, and program effectiveness evaluation within and for the community.
  • Public health sciences including the utilization of available research, the design and implementation of new research, and the use of epidemiology and other research methods to understand the distribution and determinants of disease in the community.
  • Financial management and planning skills to support careful budget management and use of public resources.
  • Leadership and systems thinking skills to enable professional practice and development of the public health team.


Public health nursing is recognized as a specialty nursing area and is supported by the Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations composed of: The Association of Community Health Nurse Educators (ACHNE); The Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing (ASTDN); The American Public Health Association, Public Health Nursing Section (APHA), and The American Nurses Association’s Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics (ANA). The Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations (Quad Council) provides voice and visibility for public health nurses, sets a national policy agenda on issues related to public health nursing and advocates for excellence in public health nursing education, practice, leadership, and research. National certification as an advanced public health nurse, board certified (APHN-BC) is available from the American Nurse Credentialing Center. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

The Role of a Community Nurse

More and more patients are treated outside a traditional hospital setting. As their numbers grow, the ability of the NHS to provide medical and nursing services is also changing and community nurses (also known as district nurses) play a vital role in this increasingly important aspect of our healthcare system.

What does a community nurse do?

Working in a variety of environments, from clinics and health centers to residential accommodation and patients’ own homes, community nurses help the NHS meet the needs of elderly, disabled or vulnerable patients who may not be able to easily visit the hospital.

Community nurses are trained to perform a variety of nursing procedures which may include:

  • basic care – such as checking temperature, blood pressure and breathing
  • administering injections
  • assisting doctors with examinations and medical procedures
  • cleaning and dressing wounds
  • setting up intravenous drips and monitoring ongoing care

Community nurses also provide an important educational and advisory service for patients and families, offering information on various aspects of healthcare. In some situations, community nurses may be expected to provide emergency care – where patients have had accidents or suffered complications, such as cardiac arrest. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

The role is more than a way to relieve the UK’s busy hospitals and GP surgeries: community nurses offer their patients a level of emotional support and specialize in ‘joint care management’ for situations in which social services or wider care program mes may be involved.

What skills does a community nurse need?

Community nursing jobs can be high pressure: nurses work in environments which change from day to day and lack many of the resources available in a hospital. Given the demanding nature of the role and the spectrum of patients they are required to treat, community nurses should possess excellent communication and listening skills, while demonstrating sensitivity towards the specifics of each unique situation.

Before taking an available nursing post a community nurse must be a qualified and registered nurse (usually with two years’ practical experience) – and will also need additional, degree level training as a ‘specialist practitioner’.

Specialist practitioner training courses usually last no less than one academic year but trainees may be able to shorten that training period by counting previous experience towards their qualification. Courses, which can be taken on a full or part time basis, are split into practical and theoretical elements – and focus on four key areas: NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

  • clinical nursing
  • care and program me management
  • clinical practice development
  • clinical practice leadership

Community Health Nursing

Community health nursing incorporates several basic concepts, including the promotion of healthy living, prevention of disease and health problems, medical treatment, rehabilitation, evaluation of community health care delivery and prevention systems, and research to further community health and wellness. A community nurse may provide direct care, educate individuals or the public, advocate for health improvements and perform research in community health. She might also lead or collaborate with other health care professionals, organizations, political figures and members of the community to promote health for her community. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Public Health Nurses

Public health nurses are often the most visible group in a community health improvement setting. They might be specialists in disease prevention with a focus on preventing infectious disease, work with mothers and children to improve nutrition, operate immunization clinics or lead efforts such as smoking cessation, preventing excessive sun exposure and water safety. Like the nurses who worked in Kentucky many years ago, these nurses might provide prenatal health care or teach mothers how to care for their new babies. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Community public health nursing is not entirely different in nursing practice with that of clinical nursing confined in the four corners of the hospital. It also promotes wellness and prevents illness through education and health teachings, provides comfort and care through its delicate nursing care interventions, and emphasizes curative and rehabilitative interventions through individualized efficient approaches. But its peculiarity involves not only caring a single client but by extending thru the whole family and the community. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Roles and Responsibilities of a Community Health Nurse

1. The main focus of community health nurse is health promotion.


  • Identifies the needs and concerns of individuals, groups, families, and the community
  • Formulates health plans, especially in the absence of a community physician
  • Interprets and implements nursing plans and programs
  • Assists other health team members in implementing health programs in the setting

Health Educator/Trainer/ Counselor

  • Acts as resource speaker on health and health related services
  • Advocates health programs in the community through dissemination of IEC or Information Education and Communication materials
  • Conducts advocacy educations concerning premarital, breastfeeding, and immunization counselings
  • Organizes orientation/ training of concerned groups like pregnant mothers
  • Identifies and interprets training needs of health team members and formulate appropriate training program for them
  • Conducts and facilitates necessary training or educational orientation to other health team members in the community

2. The recipient of care of community public health nursing practice is extended not only the individual but also to benefit the whole family and community. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Community Organizer

  • Promotes self- reliance of community and emphasizes their involvement and participation in planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating of health services
  • Initiates and implements community development activities

Coordinator of services

  • Coordinates health services with concerned individuals and families through the community health team members, government organizations and non- government organizations
  • Coordinates nursing plans and  programs with other health programs

3. Community health nurse are generalists in terms of their practice through life’s continuum. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Provider of Nursing Care

  •  Renders direct care to various clients with different needs, may it be at home, in school, clinics or work settings
  •  Involves the family in the care of the sick or dependent individual, i.e. sick child

4. Continuity of care with the client, family or and the community extends for a longer time involving individuals of all ages and health needs.

Health Monitor

  • Monitors and detects presence of health concerns in the community through contacts or home visits.
  • Utilizes various effective data gathering techniques in keeping an eye on the health status of all recipients of care.
  • Records and reports health status and presence of health problems in the community

5. The nature of nursing practice in the community needs the knowledge of biological and social sciences, ecology, clinical nursing, and community organizing, for it to be effective. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper


  • Follows a systematic process of monitoring the health status of the community through the conduct of surveys and home visits
  • Conducts researches concerning the health of the community
  • Coordinates with government and non- government organizations in the conduct and implementation of studies


  • Records data systematically and ensures its validity through accurate and complete data gathering
  • Reports prepared reports to concerned organizations i.e. government organization for immediate necessary plans or programs
  • Consolidates and reviews reports efficiently. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper
  • Analyzes and interprets consolidated data for monitoring the development in the health matters of the whole community

6. This field of nursing practice utilizes a dynamic process (assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation) in the provision of continuous care until termination is implicit.

Change Agent

  • Promotes and motivates change in the community in their health practices and lifestyle behaviors for them to promote and maintain good health, be knowledgeable and has initiative in accessing health services
  • Inculcates self- reliance to brought about development and improvement in the community NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

My apologies for I only have included a short list of the roles and responsibilities. A community health nurse could still develop other sorts of roles while working in the setting. It may not be evident because of its vast and intricate tasks. What is important is the impact it produces in those individuals who needed the care of a community health nurse.

            Paper works, like the graphs and pie charts shown the community health center are not enough to say that a nurse accomplished her work because a much bigger responsibility is laid in front of her – the community. So, despite the short description of the roles and responsibilities of community public health nursing my hopes are up that some of us would like to be one, too or if not, recognize the hardships and efforts of our own nurses in the community in delving with the issues in health in the community. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

The Role of the Nurse in Preventative Health Care

Preventative health care has become an increasingly popular area of the health care sector. Using a variety of methods to educate populations and avoid illnesses, this type of health care works to improve the overall wellness of Americans. Preventative health care informs populations, promotes healthy lifestyles and provides early treatment for illnesses. In the industry, the emergence of health care reform and an increased number of individuals suffering from chronic conditions has led to an amplified role for nurses in disease prevention. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Preventative Health Care

Nurses in preventative health care are tasked with improving the health of patients through evidence-based recommendations while encouraging individuals to receive preventative services such as screenings, counseling and precautionary medications. Through public health education, nurses can inspire a larger group of people to engage in healthy lifestyles and ultimately live longer lives. Preventative health care nurses encourage:

  • Regular exercise: Nurses promote regular activity (preferably 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week) to combat heart conditions, high blood pressure and other diseases such as stroke, diabetes and arthritis. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper
  • Weight management: Exercise also encourages weight management. Preventative care includes maintaining and controlling weight with exercise and healthy eating habits to prevent diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis.
  • Avoidance of smoking and drug abuse: Aside from the addiction threat associated with smoking and drug use, there is the risk of lung cancer, emphysema and other forms of cancer.
  • Moderated alcohol use: Education about the effects of alcohol consumption, as well as early screening for diseases such as liver disease, stroke or high blood pressure, can significantly increase the chances of illness prevention.
  • Control of existing diseases: Nurses involved with preventative health care work to identify existing conditions in the early stages. Modifying an individual’s behaviors can control or minimize the effects of a particular ailment.

Preventative care encompasses a wide range of techniques to identify, educate, prevent and treat diseases in populations. There are three types of prevention that nurses take part in on a regular basis depending on their position in health care facilities or organizations: primary, secondary and tertiary. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Primary Prevention

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) describes primary prevention as the measures taken to provide individuals with knowledge to prevent the onset of a targeted condition. In this type of prevention, nurses play the part of educators that offer information and counseling to communities and populations that encourage positive health behaviors. From providing immunizations to reinforcing the use of seat belts, programs are designed to avoid suffering and illness in patients, as well as avoid any type of cost supplementary to disease treatment. Primary prevention is typically the most economical method of health care. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Secondary Prevention

Secondary prevention, a form of early disease detection, identifies individuals with high risk factors or clinical diseases through screenings and regular care to prevent the onset of disease. Once identified, nurses work with these patients to reduce and manage controllable risks, modifying the individuals’ lifestyle choices and using early detection methods to catch diseases in their beginning stages when treatment may be more effective. Regular screenings, conducted by a preventative health care nurse, are the most common method of secondary prevention and can dramatically diminish the development of certain illnesses. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Tertiary Prevention

The third tier of prevention, tertiary prevention, is slightly different. This method involves the treatment of existing diseases in patients. At this point of care, nurses are tasked with helping individuals execute a care plan and make any additional behavior modifications necessary to improve conditions. As the primary and secondary methods have been unsuccessful, this stage encompasses methods of minimizing negative effects and preventing future complications. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Examples of Disease Prevention

Traditionally, health care systems were focused on cures for diseases. Today’s system is more focused on effective prevention techniques. Approximately 1.7 million Americans die each year from chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obstructive pulmonary disease. Nurses and other health care professionals are constantly working to prevent such illnesses through a variety of approaches. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Heart Disease

As the leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease is the focus of many health care professionals. There are many prevention programs in place and most employ the following methods of educating the public on ways to prevent heart-related illnesses, including:

  • Encourage and conduct patients to engage in regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks to prevent or control high or dangerous levels.
  • Educate populations on the symptoms of heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Improve emergency response to increase survival rates. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Organizations like the American Heart Association have developed guidelines and best practice methods for the treatment and prevention of heart disease. These strategies, used by health care professionals, work to educate and prevent cardiovascular diseases and have the ability to lower health care costs and improve overall patient care.

Roles of Nurses in Population Health Management

In 1915, C.E.A. Winslow, the first professor to found a university population health management department, established the definition of the discipline. He described it as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private communities, and individuals.” This definition serves as a template for public health professionals. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Today, medical professionals have varied views about what population health management encompasses. Despite this, community health outcomes continue to improve as public health specialists deliver lifesaving messages to a growing number of at-risk consumers.

Regarding the actual delivery of those messages, community nurses provide health care organizations with a critical understanding of the cultural and socioeconomic determiners that affect service delivery. As such, nurses who practice in the following four roles assist care provider organizations in meeting relatively recent key legislative performance indicators that improve population health. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

1. Care Coordinator

Nursing care coordinators work with individuals, groups, and communities to arrange resources that consumers need to ensure successful treatments. [1] These nurses ensure that various services complement each other in a way that promotes positive patient outcomes. This work serves to decrease service costs, facilitate provider collaboration, and increase patient safety. By thinking of their work on a community level, care coordinators make sure that patrons receive necessary services across population groups, treatment disciplines, and service sites.

For example, a consumer afflicted with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) may require treatments from several specialists. This complex undertaking can expose patients to added risks. CHF patients face the additional risks of undergoing redundant diagnostics, and receiving conflicting or redundant medications, dietary plans, or physical therapy treatments. In these instances, a critical error can occur, resulting in the need for emergency services or worse. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Nursing care coordinators bridge the gaps between many disparate health services. They eliminate redundant treatments and make sure consumers understand how to comply with the care plans developed by multiple providers. This work promotes optimal treatment outcomes and reduces unnecessary readmission’s.

2. Informatics Specialist

Nursing informatics specialists perform a critical role in helping improve treatment outcomes. [2] These professionals combine their expertise in communications and electronic information management to organize and disseminate information in a way that provides value to care providers and consumers. Many nurses who practice this discipline have front line care giving experience. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Informatics specialists typically perform work involving the technical or computer-related aspects of health care services. In an executive capacity, these nurses might make decisions that affect the way an entire organization manages patient information.

Nursing informatics professionals may specialize in one of several areas. Informatics research nurses commonly work at universities, private medical firms, and private health organizations. Consumer needs consultants create and maintain digital information that consumers can access using the Internet. Public health informatics specialists collect and analyze electronic health records (EHRs) and other data for use by consumers, medical professionals, and public health officials. Informatics specialists manipulate data that spans many health disciplines to improve community wellness and keep care providers up to date with timely population health statistics. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

3. Community-Based Facilitator

Community-based facilitators support consumers and health care workers in transitioning to new practices. [3] The nurses serve as a link between medical theory and practice. In this role, nursing professionals play an important part in ensuring the medical community properly adopts procedural and policy changes based on the latest empirical health data.

While performing consumer-facing duties, the specialists help individuals, groups, and communities understand why and how they need to make changes in the habits that affect their health. By creating specific goals, community-based facilitators serve as intermediaries who guide health professionals in achieving per-established objectives. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Depending on the focus area, community-based facilitators might perform duties that include small tasks for individuals, to wide-ranging overall community plans that promote holistic wellness. These nursing professionals typically work in universities and health care academic settings; teaching medical students and care providers how to implement new practices based on recent scientific discoveries.

The consensus among medical professionals is that community-based facilitation makes it easier for consumers and health care professionals to adopt new methods and behaviors. Some health experts support the idea that the practice encourages cooperation among consumers and professional peers. Either view focuses on improving the quality of health services. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

4. Primary Care Partner

The United States currently suffers from a shortage of primary care providers, and may have difficulty serving the needs of a growing patient population. [4] As caseloads increase, health care organizations must transition toward new practice models and streamlined operations.

In response to these conditions, more nurses have assumed the role of primary care partner. However, the key to this transition lies in training sufficient numbers of nurses to pursue this career track. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Increasing the ranks of primary care providers and reorganizing service delivery will help health care organizations improve patient treatment experiences and outcomes while reducing medical expenses. The 3.7 million registered nurses (RNs) who currently practice in America represent a ready and able resource that can help alleviate the shortage of primary care providers. Advanced practice nurses who assume roles as primary care partners can relieve the growing pressure placed on many health organizations in the United States.

Despite these options, many health care organizations do not utilize RNs to their full potential as primary care providers. However, among the organizations that have employed RNs in this capacity, patient satisfaction and health outcomes have risen, and operating costs have decreased. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

Population health rests with the ability to provide tangible services of proven value to patients. This requires fostering teamwork, cultivating collaborative relationships, and streamlining operations throughout the public health care milieu. Ultimately, successful community wellness may lie in the hands of skilled, advanced nursing professionals who can help health organizations meet, and exceed, these objectives.

Driving change in population health

Community benefit has been a formal part of the provision of “charity care” by hospitals since 1969 when it was introduced by the IRS as one means of providing tax exempt status to nonprofit hospitals. In 2009 the Internal Revenue Service introduced “Schedule H” that clarified and standardized the concept of community benefit as guidance to hospitals under their tax exempt status to contribute to the improvement of health in the communities they serve. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper This requirement for community benefit was expanded in 2012 to assure that hospitals collaborated with their community partners including local public health departments to develop community based needs assessment and implementation plans (Boufford & Garcia, 2014). Community benefit has enabled hospital systems to focus on population health improvement and prompted partnerships with local public health departments. However, the transformation of a system focused on acute episodes of illness to one that embraces a life course approach across care environments has not been easy. Public health departments have been veterans in pursuing prevention strategies for improved health but have often pursued those strategies in isolation. Fiscally restrictive political environments, difficulty recruiting public health expertise, and the failure to seek and communicate evidence based strategies for linking social determinants to health improvement have limited their effectiveness. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

The good news is that the community benefit provision within the Accountable Care Act could create the leverage for powerful new partnerships to emerge with a commitment to evidence based and sustainable population approaches to health improvement. Key to harnessing these opportunities are the nursing leaders and clinicians, many of them Academy Fellows and Edge Runners, with expertise in navigating fiscally restrictive environments and with the research and policy expertise to make the case for innovative approaches to population health improvement. These leaders and clinicians share an essential expertise; they know how to collaborate and work effectively within teams and within and across systems.

Examples of public health and community based strategies for population health improvement are showcased as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s focus on “Building a Culture of Health”. A recent RWJF policy brief described the role of nurses in aligning the social determinants of health with prevention and health promotion (Fauteux, N., 2015). This brief is part of a series that features the powerful impact nurses can have in a variety of roles across diverse practice settings. Examples of these practices include a public health nursing practice at the 11th Street Family Health Services in Philadelphia, a nurse home-visiting program for newborns developed through a partnership between Duke University and the Durham County Health Department, a public health nurse in a Tribal community in Taos Pueblo, and a Library Nurse Program in Pima Country in Arizona where nurses focus on health promotion and prevention for at risk individuals who are identified within public libraries. These vignettes exemplify how nurses are essential leaders and providers in bringing unique talents to the design and implementation of care models that focus on the most vulnerable individuals and families across community settings. The engagement of nurses in building a “Culture of Health” has presented an opportunity for the Academy to partner on a broad scale with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other national organizations with a shared vision of health. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

These examples provide a glimpse of the potential that our profession has to engage across settings, across roles, and across expertise to incorporate a focus on how diverse we are as individuals, families and communities and how that diversity can enhance the social determinants that promote the best of health. As the Academy continues to work on our strategic initiatives, we will be investing time and resources in pursuing avenues for our Fellows to participate as leaders in the policy dialogues that drive change for a healthier population.

Role of Public Health Nurses in Communicable Disease Control

The Role of Nurses

Today, public health nurses serve their communities in a variety of positions. Nurses in this field often serve as leaders, educators, advocates and researchers, all in addition to their nursing roles. Many public health nurses practice, study, develop and lead public health campaigns. Some also teach other nurses, other public health workers and the public at large. Some nurses serve as policy makers and craft legislation that advances the cause of health and wellness. Within local communities, nurses are also needed to teach preventive health practices so more people can live healthy, productive lives. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

PHN is a rapidly changing field, reflecting improvements in nursing care, public health knowledge and scientific development. Nurses can work in PHN as generalists or they can pursue advanced education in the field and work as specialists with more significant responsibilities. Typically, PHN jobs require candidates who are flexible and capable of serving as leaders. To advance in the field, nurses should pursue additional PHN education.

Public health nursing is a field with strong opportunities. Nurses in this field work closely with local residents, businesses, governments, nonprofit organizations, researchers and other healthcare professionals to help communities become healthier. These nurses can help prevent the spread of disease by providing education, developing programs, supervising health campaigns and contributing their knowledge to public health work. PHN is continuing to change as advancements in the field allow nurses to do even more for community health. NURS 4210 – Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health Essay Paper

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