What strategies are most common in community nursing?

Nursing is a popular career choice within healthcare that empowers people to make a positive impact on the world around them. As a result, nursing offers excellent job satisfaction and enables medical professionals to make life better for those they care for.

Although this might explain why many people move into nursing, the range of specific roles trained professionals in this field can move into is also appealing. Community nursing is a good example of this and a role that proves particularly popular in career terms. As the name suggests, it involves working in the local community to provide the best healthcare to community members.

This article explores how to break into this nursing role and the strategies most commonly used within it.

How to get into community nursing

To become a community nurse, individuals first need to study through an accredited nursing program to qualify as a Registered Nurse (RN). In addition to this, they will also need to pass the NCLEX nursing licensure exam to work in the industry.

Some academic courses go the extra mile to prepare students for this and it’s therefore key that they choose where to study carefully. The online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) course from Rockhurst University shows how this works in practice, offering an NCLEX prep course for students and one-on-one coaching for the exam itself. Rockhurst’s NCLEX pass score for the exam in 2023 was an impressive 97%. This shows, where a student chooses to study can be very important for becoming a nurse.

After qualifying as an RN and attaining some clinical experience, it is then possible to look at specializing in the niche of community nursing.

What strategies do community nurses use most commonly?

Once an individual has taken the required steps to move into community-based nursing and found a job, it is key that they find out the most common strategies used in this specialism. This will not only enable them to offer the best care to patients but also ensure they enjoy their new position thoroughly.

The most widely used strategies are as follows.

Disease prevention

Although working as a nurse often involves treating existing injuries, disease prevention is one strategy that community nursing often utilizes. This is highly beneficial to patients in the local area and enables nurses to educate them on what diseases they might be in danger of contracting, based on their lifestyle or medical/family history.

Once a patient is assessed, community nurses can advise on how patients can prevent diseases from impacting them. If someone has a medical history in their family of cataracts, for example, a community nurse may discuss the benefits of eye vitamins as a preventative measure.

Community nurses can also educate people in their area about common diseases to look out for and how habits like regular hand washing can stop them from spreading. Nurses in this role are often involved in the rollout of vaccination programs which can help vulnerable people in their community stay safe from specific diseases.

Home care and modifications

Working in community nursing can often involve paying home visits to patients who cannot travel to see healthcare professionals. This means home visits are one strategy community nurses use regularly to ensure everyone in their area gets the help they need to stay healthy.

Home visits are a good strategy for people with mobility issues, elderly patients, those with social anxiety, or patients who do not have any way of traveling to a medical institution. They can also work well for basic daily tasks that do not require a formal appointment, such as changing dressings.

Another strategy nurses in the community often use when making home visits is suggesting relevant home modifications which could deliver better care to patients. This is especially useful if they feel the health issues someone is experiencing are caused by their home environment. If inflammation of the knee is caused by a patient walking up steep stairs in their house multiple times per day, for example, community nurses may suggest installing a lift to ease their pain.

Outreach programs

Working in this role means getting fully involved with the local community. This enables nurses to get to know the people they are helping, understanding what health topics the community focuses on and which health issues they might currently need assistance with.

A good strategy for achieving this is rolling out community outreach programs to engage the local population. This can be done in several ways – from open days which bring people into a community health center, to online meetings with the community or flyers in the local area which highlight what community nursing can offer.

By using this as a strategy to engage local residents, nurses in the community can firmly establish their presence and make people feel more comfortable in coming to them for help.

Community support groups

In addition to outreach programs in the local community, support groups are an effective strategy which many nurses in this role use. These groups bring people in the local area with the same health problem or concerns together in one place to seek the support they require. Community nurses will usually be present at support group meetings to manage sessions, provide their own input, and offer expert advice.

Support groups in the community can be very useful for helping people talk through their health issues and potentially find solutions for what is ailing them. They can also help people feel they are not alone in what is troubling them and allow community nurses to further engage with the local population to provide care.

Community nursing strategies for high-quality patient care

The above strategies are some of the most common across community nursing in general. Although they undoubtedly bring their own benefits for people working in this role, it is easy to see how they also allow professionals in this field to deliver the best care to people in the local area.

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