The Role of Nurses in Primary Health Care


Globally, nurses have great career options. There are many countries where they can practice and pursue a good rewarding job. The duties a nurse may perform would be much more depended upon the type of chosen nursing career. For instance, the role of a nurse at a hospital would be much more different from the role of another nurse who would be working in a community setting. Similarly, a nurse working at an aged care center would have different responsibilities than a nurse who would be working at a school.

In any primary healthcare sector, we find many roles which nurses take. Some of the prominent among them are as follows:

  • General Practice Nurses

  • Community Health Nurses

  • Occupational Nurses

  • Maternal and Child Health Nurses

  • School Nurses etc.

No matter where you will be working as nurse, it would certainly be very important for you to get registration certification. And in many cases, registered professionals will also have to go thorugh different tests which will eventually allow them to get the license they require to work. For instance, NCLEX is a type of test which is administered by National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and is required for these professionals working in the Canada and United States. Without it, they may not get the license which would, in other words, mean that they can’t continue their practice in those countries. So if you want to become a professional nurse you should take NCLEX test.
General Practice Nurses

They may work in general hospitals, health centers etc. They will work in collaboration with the other practitioners and will provide a wide range of primary healthcare services related to chronic disease management, illness management, lifestyle education, population health, health assessment, infection control, health control, immunization promotion etc.

Community Health Nurses

This profession is a perfect blend of general nursing practice, health promotion, public health practice and other primary health care services. In many countries such as UK, US, Australia, we find health communities where they will play a major role in promoting health education and prevention of communicable diseases. They will be at the forefront to empower people to bring a change in their unhealthy lifestyles. They would partner with the local communities in a given area and may also provide center-based or home visiting services.

Maternal and Child Health Nurses

It would not be wrong to say but the role of a maternal and child health nurse would be much more similar to that of midwife. Graduation or post-graduation qualification is needed for this. They may offer services to breastfeeding mothers, support well being, educate mothers on health issues, promote health, teach parenting skills, assess child, guide families etc.

School Nurses

There are many schools where we can these professionals teaching children about health and safe. Employing experts at nursing at school was first started as a trend in English countries such as UK, US, Australia but later it turned into one of the basic necessities as the parents would also like to admit their children in a school where a child would learn and grow with all good health and wellbeing. These professionals working at schools would provide various health care services which a general nurse would provide. Their work would be more related to clinical care, health promotion, health counselling, networking, community development activities, general health management etc. To assess children at entry level would also be one of their primary responsibilities. They would undertake hearing, screening and vision testing, injury prevention, immunisation, nutrition, positive parenting and other medical activities.

Occupational Health Nurses

This group of experts in nursing would provide health and safety services for workers and community groups. The primary objective would be to promote health, plan programs for prevention from illness or injury, protection from environmental hazards etc. The scope of practice may include but not just limited to disease management, emergency preparedness, environmental health, health advice and injury management, crisis intervention, counselling, legal and regulatory compliance etc.

No matter where a professional nurse is working, it would be important to have other required skills too which are more related to patient management, behaviour assessment and other psychological skills which foster good client relationships.


Source by Liam Marcus