Role of the Community Nurse
A Community Nurse is an licensed clinician who is a member of a community (town, parish, or social organization) with years of healthcare experience. He or she may be paid by the community or may volunteer time. He or she will not provide hands-on nursing care, but will assist the elder and family members in seeking additional care if needed, and in helping provide continuity of care.
These nurses view the individual and the community in a holistic manner, and they bring their experience at the bedside and in the community to the position. Their assessment ability and knowledge about options for appropriate interventions help them to address complex problems. They are familiar with health care systems and have experience in working as part of a team. They understand the course of an illness, the functional consequences of that illness, and the impact on the individual and the family. They have a global familiarity with the community resources necessary to support the individual during a crisis. They also have the capacity to initiate interventions for the larger community as needed.
The nurse can do any of the following:
A community nurse may coordinate with the Visiting Nurses Association or hospice services. It is not unusual for the community / parish nurse to make the referral to the VNA or hospice based on the needs of the parishioner or community member, and then to work collaboratively to ensure the individual's needs are met.