You can learn more about this field by reading books on careers in nursing, surfing the Web for information on community health nursing, and talking with your high school counselor, school nurse, or local public health nurse. You might also consider visiting your local hospital or clinic to observe the work of nurses, and participating in a volunteer program as a way to learn more about the environment and the nursing profession. Additionally, contact nursing associations for information on nursing education, scholarships, and career paths.
Community health nurses may instruct a class for expectant mothers, visit new parents to help them learn how to care for their new baby, talk with senior citizens about exercise and nutrition, or give immunizations at a community center or other site. Other community health nurses travel to remote areas where health care is not readily available. Here they work with a medical doctor or nurse practitioner to provide medical care and health education. Community health nurses usually work with all ages. They also may work with different groups of people, including immigrants, homeless shelter residents, and persons who are developmentally or physically challenged.
Community health nurses also work as educators. They plan, promote, and administer community-wide wellness programs. They give presentations to area organizations, schools, and health care facilities regarding health, safety, exercise, and nutrition.
Some community health nurses may work with managed care providers and programs sponsored by health maintenance organizations.
As with almost all health care professions today, community health nurses spend a great deal of time keeping records and charts and documenting the services they provide to meet insurance, government, and Medicare requirements.