Public health nurses play a significant role in the prevention of disease and help promote community health safety. Public health nurses have many responsibilities. For example, they assess trends to identify health risk factors, assign priorities for health-related interventions to enhance positive outcomes, design and implement health education activities and campaigns (DeMarco & Healey-Walsh, 2020). They deliver medical care when needed, including referring people to other related services. The public health nurses also provide information on local health services and programs, which are available to enhance aces to care and play advocacy roles to improve access to healthcare in underserved communities.
In the 21st century, public health nurses face many challenges. For instance, there is a public health nursing workforce shortage, which leads to errors, dissatisfaction, burnouts, high mortality rates, and higher morbidity. There are generation workforce concerns due to increasing diversity, poor communication, disharmony, and a corresponding decrease in quality in patient care (DeMarco & Healey-Walsh, 2020). Besides, there is increasing clinical practice complexity and changing delivery systems since medicine is dynamic. In this manner, public health nurses have to engage in continuous education development to acquire new and modern skills and knowledge to meet the changing complex needs of the patients. The nurses are also urged to conduct new and better studies to improve the nursing profession through evidence-based practice.
Public health nurses play an integral role in promoting and upholding communities’ health care quality. For instance, they analyze the current trends in the healthcare delivery system within various communities. . Additionally, they monitor disease breakouts, health indicators, and unhealthy lifestyles to educate the public on avoiding illnesses.
Albeit public health nursing promotes high health standards in the community, it faces challenges, such as physicians’ shortages, aging baby boomers, and uncertainty in health reforms. Public health nurses have many responsibilities enabling them to provide care to the community. For example, they are responsible for helping communities transform from disease- to health-oriented systems and reduce the cost of caring for the sick (Nies & McEwen, 2019. Public health nurses’ other daily tasks include:
- Recording and scrutinizing patients’ health information.
- Providing high-quality patient care to promote recovery.
- Evaluating and observing patients’ health and recommending treatment plans.
- Educating the public, patients, and other institutions concerning available services and access to care.
- Assessing health issues within communities and providing solutions.
- Educating the public on prevention methods of diseases to improve individuals’ health status.
Challenges for Public Health Nursing in the 21st Century
Public health nursing faces three primary challenges in the 21st Century. Firstly, the presence of many baby boomers in the United States has augmented healthcare quality demands in the country. According to Buerhaus et al. (2017), the United States Medicare admission is estimated to upsurge to 80 million, leading to increased healthcare demand in 2030 because of the aging baby boomers. Secondly, public healthcare nursing faces a shortage of physicians because of retirement and increasing healthcare demand. Lastly, the uncertainty of healthcare reform that has reduced the number of insured individuals in the country presents a significant challenge to public health nursing.