Often referred to as a health visitor, a community nurse focuses on meeting the health needs and risks of a community. Much of the job aspect focuses on providing information and giving needed resources to people in the community. This empowers learning and helps manage a community’s health needs. A community nurse may work in a school, a health centre, in a hospital, and often visits patients in their homes. The role of a community nurse rests greatly upon the people they are working with. Their job might focus on helping a patient who has recently been discharged from the hospital, working with new mothers who have questions regarding their new baby, and helping the elderly with questions they might have regarding their health concerns. A community nurse often works with other agencies, such as GPs and social service agencies. This ensures that community members receive the care and services that they need to remain in optimum health.
A community nurse handles managerial tasks as well as practical nursing skills. When caring for patients, a community nurse will frequently perform functions such as changing wounds and dressings, administer medications, and take other medical or regulatory tests to help identify the patient’s current state of health. Additionally, the community nurse will manage several patients’ case histories and files at once, so they must be well organized, pay attention to detail, and have the ability to identify health concerns and illnesses. Since they work with families that might be dealing with long-term illness, they must have the ability to speak well and demonstrate empathy as appropriate.
Community nurses are experienced registered nurses and typically have at least five years experience. Since they deal with many different people throughout the community, a community nurse often has specialised training in a broad range of nursing practices. When seeking employment as a community nurse you will find that each employer has their own set of additional requirements. These might include experience or training as a nursing mentor, additional training as a district, health, or visiting nurse, and that you also have obtained a postgraduate nursing diploma.
A community nurse continues developing his or her nursing skills and will continue with their educational goals, often obtaining their Masters degree. Since community nurses have experience and are practicing registered nurses their starting salary can vary between £28,000 and £38,300 a year. As community nurses continue his or her education and obtains further degrees, the salary will increase as much as £44,500 per year.