6 Places the Community Needs Nurses
Most everyone expects to see nurses at the bedside. But, it's not the only place you might see a nurse serving their community. Learn about nursing executives, entrepreneurs, and flight nurses and why our communities need these unique nursing roles to be filled.
Everyone knows that nurses work at the bedside. But, the community doesn't usually consider the need for nurses in other areas of healthcare and even other industries. Just imagine a world without nursing research, education, or leadership. It's important we recognize that healing happens in many places and by numerous methods. In fact, our communities and society at large need nurses in roles they might not even consider.
Here are a few places the community needs nurses and the impact these specific roles have on the health and wellbeing of the community they serve.
Healthcare Executive Leadership
In today's tenuous healthcare environment, nurses are needed in executive leadership roles more than ever. Nursing executives possess a unique patient and bedside nursing perspective that other executives don't have. They have the opportunity to lead and be the champion for patient care from a place of understanding, empathy, and practicality.
Nurse executives work to manage budgets, create and implement policies, and execute human resource rules and regulations. They build a culture of innovation, work collaboratively, and increase access to and use of technology. Community members and even patients might not ever interact with a nursing executive, but without them, receiving competent care would be difficult.
A bit different than executives, nurse leaders manage units, agencies, and other nursing departments. They work in the vast space between hands-on care and nursing executives. Nurse leaders impact the community by being a voice in the world of middle-management.
They are just a few steps removed from patient care, so they continue to know and feel the pulse of patient care, safe staffing ratios, and the needs of the bedside nurse. Our communities and the future of nursing need these nurses to have a voice for advocacy.
You might use the term evidence-based practice when performing care. But, have you ever thought that nurses had to conduct research studies to find the evidence that's used in patient care? In between research and practice is policy, which takes the evidence obtained and implements into practice.
Nurse researchers create theories, hypotheses, and develop and implement studies to learn new ways of achieving better patient outcomes. Without nurses doing research, nursing practice would be disorganized and chaotic guess-work.
use their nursing knowledge to start their own healthcare industries. They develop products, services, devices, or offer patient care and education. Other entrepreneurs write articles, create podcasts, and or deliver keynote speeches.
Many of them do this work as a side-hustle while continuing bedside practice, but some leave the bedside to run their own companies. They add value to the nursing community through education, development, and more. Without nurse entrepreneurs, our communities would be void of products and services that complement that continuum of care.
If you've ever been critically injured and needed immediate transport to a healthcare center, you've experienced the importance of flight nurses face-to-face. Flight nurses care for patients as they're transported in helicopters and other aircraft. They are essential staff during rescue operations and air evacuations. They provide advanced critical care and assume responsibility for the patient during transport.
These nurses provide critical access to our communities at some of the most difficult and stressful times. They save lives when time is of the essence, and our communities are safer because of these advanced care practitioners.
Public Health Nurse
The term "population health" has gained much popularity in recent years. Public health nurses focus on the health and well-being of a specific population. They promote health and prevent disease and disability. They use concepts from the fields of nursing, public health, and social services to keep our communities well.
These nurses work in clinics, schools, government agencies, and volunteer organizations. They work with at-risk populations and provide education on disease risks. Nurses in public health are also instrumental in the preparation of disaster relief. Without nurses working in public health, our communities would suffer from disease and disaster.
Nursing is one of the most diverse professions. You can specialize in many ways or create a new nursing path of your own. Are you considering a different direction in your career path? If so, let us know where you would like to work. Or, if you hold one of those "dream" nursing roles, comment below and let us know what's so great about your career choice.
About Melissa Mills, BSN
Melissa is a Quality Assurance Nurse, professor, writer, and business owner. She has been a nurse for over 20 years and enjoys combining her nursing knowledge and passion for the written word. You can see more of her work at www.melissamills.net or on her blog at www.lifeafterforty.blog.
Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 214; Likes: 706
Freelance Writer, Nurse Case Manager, Professor; from OH , USOct 26Joined: Dec '11; Posts: 3,615; Likes: 7,918And I would add in schools! So many school nurses cover multiple schools and the kids miss out!Oct 27Joined: Oct '13; Posts: 1,335; Likes: 3,788Most of these are not in the community though.
Home health is the most obvious community nursing job. It's totally left off the list, but executive is there?
Community nursing is very broad and increasing in demand.
Many nurses are focused on inpatient bedside nursing and did not learn about the wide opportunities nurses have to work in the community. Unfortunately this article does not really elucidate.
Nurses can work in people's homes, homeless shelters, churches, schools, workplaces and for human service organizations like aps and cps.
More and more, people are getting their care outside of inpatient and residential facilities as our population ages.
Evidence based programs, nurse family partnership and assertive community treatment to name just a few are options in the community. The article could have explained a few of those.
There is also PATH: A program to keep seniors in their homes.
And I'm just scratching the surface.Oct 29Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 14; Likes: 11We can add hospice to that list as well. One of the best things about nursing is the diversity that is available both inside and outside of the hospital setting. This list barely touches the surface of all the possibilities available.
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