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Care of Communities

Learn how to assess and promote health in communities.

Explore social and biological determinants of health, including the environment, socioeconomics, and genetics using a systems-based approach. You’ll gauge the effectiveness of federal, state, and local health care systems in the U.S., and learn how our health is affected by our surroundings, resources, and our access to health care.

You’ll evaluate the ways our living and working environment affects us and our community’s health. Through an ecological systems model, you’ll understand how environment impacts human health and the factors that put vulnerable populations at risk.

Gain a better understanding of health issues within communities by participating in a 42-hour practice experience in a community setting of your choice. Through this practice experience, you’ll witness firsthand the influences of environment, genetics, culture, economics, and access to care.

You’ll see how the Healthy People (healthypeople.gov) framework can address major health problems of specific populations at risk in the community.

Apply your knowledge of theory to evaluate systems that make families and communities function more or less effectively. Community Health Nurses (CHNs) need to collaborate with other health professionals and community partners to understand the strengths and challenges unique to each vulnerable population.

You’ll gain insight into developing communication, collaboration, and advocacy skills to improve community and population health.

You’ll consider both our culturally pluralistic society with its array of values and vulnerable populations—especially at-risk groups within our communities that are prone to poorer health outcomes. Through your clinical practice experience, you’ll explore health promotion and risk reduction services to target health needs of an identified vulnerable population within your specific local community.

One of the most important roles of a CHN is to promote healthy behaviors. Health promotion and the prevention of illness and injury make up the underlying goals of public health.

Sample Topics

  • Define Public Health Nursing
  • Assessment Skills in Communities and Families
  • Consider Diversity
  • Recognize Causes of Disparities
  • Explain Health Concerns
  • Prevent Health Problems
  • Promote Healthy Environments
  • Connect the Dots/Summary

Sample Assignment

Based on the community assessment data of your practice experience, you’ll develop a formal teaching unit focused on the primary prevention of a community health problem in your chosen community. You will learn to identify the learning needs of individuals, groups, or communities, and develop an appropriate lesson plan. Then you will create an informative and relevant PowerPoint to present your health promotion lesson to the class and a group in your community.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Perform primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in the community setting.
  2. Apply the nursing process and standards of practice for public health nursing to individuals and groups.
  3. Analyze the role of federal, state, and local governments in the health care delivery system.
  4. Understand access and acceptability for diverse population groups within the health care delivery system.
  5. Use the Healthy People (healthypeople.gov) framework to address major health problems of specific populations at risk in the community.
  6. Conduct a community assessment.
  7. Integrate the science of epidemiology to analyze healthy behavior, communicable disease, and patterns of illness.
  8. Describe the determinants of health through the lens of an ecological systems framework.
  9. Recognize the relationship of genetics and genomics to health promotion, prevention, and health management.
  10. Become familiar with the ethical issues that affect community health care.
  11. Demonstrate critical reflection and therapeutic interpersonal communication when collaborating as a member of an inter-professional team in the community.
  12. Apply the principles of teaching and learning to design and implement a health promotion program for individuals, families, or groups within a community setting.

Programs that include this course