Public Health Nursing and Community

1130 Words5 Pages
The History of Public Health and the Role of the Community/Public Health Nurse
Melissa Wixon
Walden University
NURS 4011 Section 05, Family, Community and Population-Based Care
July 19, 2014

The History of Public Health and the Role of the Community/Public Health Nurse For over one hundred years, nurses have worked within the community to improve the health of its’ citizens, families and overall populations, all while attempting to develop strategies to solve evolving health threats to society. From early colonial times to current times, nurses work feverishly to not only treat the sick but increase the healthy. The purpose of this paper is to give a history of public health nursing, the impact that public health nursing has had on society from the local, state and national level, and to discuss an ethical dilemma that may be encountered while dealing within in these nursing roles.
History of Public Health Nursing Early nursing began in the home, as women cared for their children and families. After the American Revolution, basic public health services evolved, and with that the eventually establishment of the Red Cross in America. At the same time, Florence Nightingale was being considered the origin of professional nursing in Europe, as she studied for 3 months at Kaisenworth, Germany and then began to implement her learning throughout war ravaged Europe during the Crimean War. She was known to have established public health nursing. “The health of the unity is the health of the community. Unless you have the health of the unity, there is no community health. .” (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014) Ms. Nightingale was the nurse who first brought about the differentiation of “sick versus health” nursing and stated that nurses should instead work to promote the health of the community instead of just treat the sick. After Florence Nightingale, public health
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