Case Management Nursing: An Approach to Community Health

In addition to considering the needs of populations, the community health nurse is prepared to provide direct care services to subpopulations within a community. These subpopulations may be a clinical focus in which the nurse has gained expertise.

Case management nursing is a nursing approach that merges knowledge from the public health sciences with professional nursing theories to safeguard and improve the health of populations in the community. An example of this is a case manager who follows older adults recovering from stroke and sees the need for community rehabilitation services. A nurse practitioner who gives immunizations to clients with the objective of managing communicable diseases within the community is also one.

The community health nurse cares for the community as a whole and considers the individual or family to be only one member of a group at risk. Competence as a case management nursing professional requires the ability to use interventions that take into account the broad social and political context in which the community problems occur and are resolved.

The educational requirements for entry-level nurses practicing in community health nursing roles are not as clear-cut as those for public health nurses. An advanced degree may not be required. However, nurses with a graduate degree in nursing who practice in community settings are considered community health nurse specialists, regardless of their public health experience.

The expert community health nurse understands the needs of a community through experience with individual families and working through their social and health care issues.

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