One of the most important employment sectors around the world is healthcare. This can be seen in the US, where it not only provides thousands of jobs to the national economy but also protects public health. Without the qualified professionals who make up the healthcare system, we would not be able to access the care we need when struck down by illness.
Although there are many crucial roles in this sector, nurses are among the most vital. Registered nurses, for example, are central to providing care to patients in hospitals, clinics and private practices in order to get the best health outcomes. This role not only enables you to help those in need and experience excellent job satisfaction but is also in great demand currently.
So, how can you train to become a nurse, and what active role do they play in communities?
Gaining the right qualification is the first step
Working as a registered nurse (RN) is fulfilling and can also see you being active across a range of healthcare settings. This can mean working directly in your local community to help patients receive expert care. Before you can do this though, you’ll need the right skills and qualifications.
An Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ASBN) is a great way to gain the knowledge and experience needed to enter the nursing field. For example, online ABSN programs at Baylor University allow you to qualify as an RN in just one year, even if you come from a non-nursing background. With main coursework completed online, there is also a two-week on-campus block of study and clinical work in the field, allowing students to graduate fully prepared to work in nursing.
Once you have qualified as a nurse, you will naturally begin to look at applying for relevant jobs. This can see you playing a very active role in the local community once you move into a new position.
What active role do nurses play in communities?
Nurses can have a huge impact on the health of people within their communities. The most obvious example of this would be working as a community health nurse. As the name suggests, this role is specifically geared towards helping your local community access the healthcare it needs and providing care to those who might not be able to get it otherwise.
While this role can be found in traditional healthcare settings, this position may also see you travelling into the community to provide medical care to patients. You may play quite an active role in the community by providing care directly in people’s homes. As you can imagine, this can soon make you a familiar face within the community and someone who people get to know over time. It can also help you fully integrate into your local community if you have moved there for work and did not actually grow up there.
Even if you provide care from a clinic or local hospital, you will still find this involves being an active member of the local community. This could be especially true if you see the same people all the time and start to build connections with them. It will also mean people get used to seeing you when they come in for treatment, which will firmly establish you within the community as a result.
How else are nurses active in the community?
Although providing treatment to patients where needed is the major way nurses are active in their communities, it is not the only way. For example, nurses may head out into their local area to help educate people about how to stay healthy. This could mean setting up an informal session at a local community hall to provide information around the use of dietary supplements or talk to people about quitting smoking.
Nurses may also head out to a local school to talk to children about healthy eating and the benefits of regular physical exercise. All this not only helps improve the general health of the community you work in but is also another way you can be truly active within it.
Public health work and wellness programs
As well as healthcare for specific patients, nurses can also play a big role when it comes to general health-screening in local communities or the administering of vaccinations to the public. This can often see you travelling to local communities and help you become more involved with life there.
Some nursing roles may also task you with setting up wellness programs for the local community. These types of roles usually have a direct focus on community nursing. As you would expect, this involves researching which wellness programs are needed to tackle common issues in the local area and taking action to roll them out.
This can make you very active in your community, as you talk to people about what aspects of being healthy they need help with and get involved with setting the programs up yourself. You may also be required to interact with those in your community afterwards to see how effective the programs were and what might be needed next.
Nurses have a significant impact on their communities
There is no doubt that nurses play an active role in the community. This is actually one of the key aspects that draws people to this profession, as it means you get to engage with the people you treat and get to know those you help.
While working as a nurse in any healthcare setting will involve engaging with the public to some extent, you can get even more involved with your community through specific nursing roles. These positions will allow you to provide direct care in people’s homes or in local, non-traditional healthcare settings. Whatever role in nursing you take up, it is true to say you will have an impact on the local community and keep the public healthy with the care you provide.