A Treatise on Rural Public Health Nursing

A Treatise on Rural Public Health Nursing

Wanda Sneed (Tarleton State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-561-2.ch711
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Nursing informaticists can be leaders in promoting prevention of illness and diseases in the 21st century. Developing an infrastructure for application of preventive and predicative models in healthcare delivery is paramount. This chapter stresses the need for rural regions to develop paradigmatic models for incorporating all aspect of the human ecology domain. While movement in public health nursing is contingent on improvement in public health interconnectivity, nurse informaticists need to develop a classification system for public health nursing, develop databases for evidence–based practice, and incorporate the rural culture in their work. Incorporation of genomics in daily nursing practice will soon be a reality. As consumer-driven healthcare becomes the reality, the platform for healthcare delivery will change. A change to care delivery in a variety of community sites with electronic information exchanges and personal health records will require robust work by informaticists. Remote monitoring devices in clients’ homes are another arena which will require a new set of skills for nursing interventionists.
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A Treatise On Rural Public Health Nursing Informatics

Rural public health nursing needs a classification system, an evidence-based practice database, and development of a model for nursing care delivery in rural environments. Nursing informatics is the tool to accomplish these needs. Nursing informatics is the retrieval of data and information to support nursing clinical practice and research and for the equipping of information management systems. In the discipline of nursing, cognitive systems have grown more rapidly than practice. Hence nursing informatics has grown in depth rather than breadth. A number of reasons support this phenomenon. The history of the nursing profession clearly shows an almost continuous evaluation and re-evaluation of the discipline. Socio-cultural factors have been the most recent mover of nursing science (Institute of Medicine [Committee on Quality of Health Care], 2001; Kimball & O’Neil, 2003). Health information technology has transformed the healthcare arena. As a result of information available to the public, a demand for greater accuracy and transparency in health care has thrust nursing to the forefront of evidence-based care and a focused research orientation. In addition, a desire within the discipline for scientific support for practice has evolved into a primary focus on evidence-based practice. Nurse informaticists are needed to integrate scientific research into public health, public health nursing and population care. Nursing informaticists are needed to develop a classification system for public health nursing, community care and rural healthcare.

The objective of this chapter is to promote public health nursing and community health nursing’s role in the new care delivery patterns, with predictive and preventative care models for populations. This entry will broaden the range of information available for informaticists, as their role expands in the new healthcare arena. Articulation with nursing informatics and the ‘quality chasm’ crossings in US healthcare will assist the informaticists with search and retrieval activities.

Nursing has a short history of evidence-based practice, unlike medicine which has garnered support from many sources to make evidence-based practice information readily available. Efforts are occurring to utilize research evidence as well as practice acumen to support evidence-based care in nursing (Berg, Fleischer & Behrens, 2005). Research support for public health/community health nursing comes from multiple sources, including biomedical, pharmacological, toxicological, human genomic, and public health sources.

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