Historically, nurses have made significant contributions to community and public health with regard to health promotion, disease prevention, and environmental and public safety. They have also been instrumental in shaping public health policy. Today, community and public health nurses have a key role in identifying and developing plans of care to address local, national, and international health issues. The goal of community and public health nursing is to optimize the health of individuals and families, taking into consideration cultural, racial, ethnic groups, communities, and populations. Caring for a population involves identifying the factors that place the population’s health at risk and developing specific interventions to address those factors. The community/public health nurse uses epidemiology as a tool to customize disease prevention and health promotion strategies disseminated to a specific population. Epidemiology is the branch of medicine that investigates causes of various diseases in a specific population (CDC, 2012; Healthy People 2030, n.d.).
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