Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo

A client sits in a chair with their right arm extended on an armrest. A nurse ties a tourniquet onto their arm above the elbow.
Figure 35.1 Public health and community health nurses play a role in gathering data to help researchers seek patterns about what affects population health. This photo shows a nurse collecting information from a volunteer as part of the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program, which is building a diverse database to inform thousands of studies on various health conditions. (credit: modification of work “All of Us Participant” by NIH Image Gallery/Flickr, Public Domain)

Josh, a public health nurse, works in a neighborhood with significant health disparities. The community experiences high rates of chronic diseases, limited access to health care services, environmental hazards, and socioeconomic challenges. Josh recognizes the need to address these disparities and assumes an informal leadership role to mobilize resources and engage the community in promoting health equity.

The nursing profession faces significant challenges in the next decade, including caring for an aging population with complex medical needs, increasing primary care capacity, and bridging the gap between medical care and social factors affecting well-being. Overcoming these obstacles and improving population health requires substantially increasing the number, diversity, distribution, and education of nursing professionals. This chapter comprehensively analyzes the nursing profession’s challenges and suggests several opportunities to address them. Each section of the chapter examines how Josh, a public health nurse, demonstrates leadership in addressing his community’s needs.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Apr 26, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.