Principles of Community Health

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Principles of Community Health


This essay aims at providing a critical and detailed comparison and contrast of the community health or public health nursing practice with hospital-based nursing practice in terms of core functions and essential services provided.

Comparison and Contrast of Community Health/ Public Health Nursing Practice with Hospital-Based Nursing Practice

Both community health or public health nursing practice and hospital-based nursing practice are primarily involved in providing health care services that are aimed at promoting the health status of the individuals suffering from various diseases. The two nursing practices focus on enhancing the wellbeing of the people and their quality of lives (Nies & McEwen, 2014). However, there exist several disparities between these two nursing practices as will be discussed below.

Firstly, community or public health nursing is designed in such a way that it is only designated to a particular region. It focuses on providing health care skills and services to a specific community depending on the current care needs of the people present in that area (Hellesø & Fagermoen, 2010). On the other hand, hospital-based nursing practice is population-oriented and tends to focus on the health care needs of the general population regardless of one’s ethnic background or place of origin (Hellesø & Fagermoen, 2010).

For instance, most of the patients who are main beneficiaries of the community-based health care services that are provided in my community mainly come from within the neighborhood.Most of them are those who have been diagnosed with acute disease or those who are living with terminal ailments. That is not the case in the nearest hospital near my area of residence where one can easily find people from all corners of our state and the country seeking both out and inpatient care services in this health care setting. Provision of outstanding health services in this hospital is what has made it attract the attention of public across the United States.

Secondly, a community nursing unit of service tends to have a dual focus which includes a family or a small group of people with health care needs while the hospital-based nursing unit of service entails a single focus which may be either patient in ward or hospitalized patient (Nies & McEwen, 2014). The third difference is that the primary focus in community nursing includes maintaining a degree of balanced towards the health of the people in a given region and promoting health through ensuring early detection of diseases and implementation of effective care measures such as rehabilitation of individuals with acute health conditions (Nies & McEwen, 2014). On the other hand, the main focus in hospital nursing is facilitating the full restoration of the patient balance towards good health. It also concentrates on treatment and provision of high-quality care to sick individuals (Nies & McEwen, 2014).

Moreover, no medical diagnosis is performed on either a patient or family in the community or public health nursing; thus these individuals cannot be considered to be under medical care. However, a community or public health nurse may conduct a health assessment of the patient or family involved and determine the various care needs that require urgent attention (McTiernan & McDonald, 2015). Contrary to community nursing, a framework for most aspects of nursing care activities in hospital nursing is significantly influenced and provided by the various diagnoses and treatment orders given by the physicians and registered nurses in this care setting (McTiernan & McDonald, 2015). Therefore, patients in a hospital-based nursing unit are always under medical care.


Conclusively, it is increasingly important to ensure that people have access to high-quality care both in the community and hospital-based settings. It is reasonable to assume that both community or public health nursing practices and hospital-based nursing practice focus on promoting the health status of the patients. However, as it has been discussed in this essay, there exist several differences between these two nursing practices. For instance, community nursing aims at meeting the health care needs of individuals within a particular geographical setting while hospital-based nursing focuses on providing care services to all people in general.