Community nurses are registered nurses who work outside of a hospital setting. They specialize in different areas of care and often assist people who might otherwise struggle to find help. Within their field, they build programs to support better health outcomes and often address wider issues, such as their patients’ quality of life. Whether they work with a specific segment of the population or a wider social group, community nurses can advise people on accessing care, so they get the medical attention they need.

Gerontology nurses

Gerontology nurses care for elderly patients in their homes or in a medical setting, such as a hospital or rehabilitation center. This is often considered an especially rewarding role, as nurses can make a real difference to a person’s recovery and independence. Moreover, as they work with the same patients each day, gerontology nurses develop a close relationship with them and their families. Going from RN to Nurse Practitioner in this field can be achieved by registering for a course at Wilkes University. Their Master of Science in Nursing program gives students the chance to specialize in adult-gerontology primary care and qualify within three years.

Ambulance nurses

Working in critical care situations every day, ambulance nurses are part of a team that brings patients to the hospital when they need life-saving care. Their experience and professional education allow them to perform a range of specialist procedures, such as tracheostomies and intubations. Once the patient is stabilized and in transit, ambulance nurses will contact the hospital to brief their colleagues and ensure other clinicians are ready to receive them.

Prison outreach nurses 

All nurses need to show compassion, but in a prison setting, this is particularly important. Prison nurses must see past a person’s conviction and current situation, providing excellent care to all. As many people have pre-existing health problems when they arrive in custody, assessment and care are a priority. However, prisoners can also receive injuries whilst they are incarcerated, and these wounds have to be treated. Aside from this, nurses are generally the first point of contact for patients in their facility; they perform examinations, give medications and make referrals when necessary.

Occupational health nurses

Occupational nurses have various duties, depending on the requirements of their employers. However, they all work hard to prevent accidents from occurring, as well as striving to maintain a healthy workforce. They carry out pre-employment examinations and design health programs for employees. Furthermore, occupational nurses are often involved in risk assessments, and many help to create safety regulations for their facility. Based in a nonclinical setting, they focus on the wellness of their patients, as well as preventive care.

Whether they are working collaboratively with other health workers, or alone, community nurses have a complex role. They provide medical assistance but also help to educate their patients and encourage people to manage their own health. For remote communities and sections of society that are cut off from the mainstream, such as prisoners, they are an invaluable source of care.