April 5, 2013
Deborah Nallo MSN, CRNP
The Public Health Professional
Community oriented nursing has been in practice since before the turn of the 20th century, working behind the scenes for the betterment of society. Nursing professionals have dedicated themselves to protecting and promoting the health of the individuals in their communities and preventing the incidence and progression of disease (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012). Despite concerted efforts by the government, the cost of healthcare is rising. Unfortunately, the expected increase in the perceived quality of life does not accompany the increase in cost. In an effort to decrease ever rising healthcare costs, health care reform has come to fruition. Shifting care of the patient back to the community, preventing disease and improved coordination of care have been identified as having the greatest potential to decrease cost (2012). The public health professional has the opportunity to step up and truly impact the lives of many through prevention strategies, collaborative practice and policy development. Public health nurses make up the largest professional element of the public health labor force; they recognize the environment as a broad determinant of health and wellness (Polivka, 2012). Environmental discord has been identified as a significant contributor to the increased incidence and progression of disease (Nweke et al, 2011). Implementation of policies and programs to enhance a community’s physical environment is a principal responsibility of a public health nurse (2012). Environmental Health
In Neighborhood News, episode 3, the community lake’s pollutant level has reached a critical level. Members of the community are unable to enjoy the recreational activities, but more importantly, the community’s water quality is compromised. This constitutes a public health issue and requires a population focused solution....