Major Difference Between Hospital Nurse and Community Nurse

Hospital Nurse VS Community Nurse:

After finishing the nursing course, the nursing student always feeling confused to decide whether they build up a career as a hospital nurse or community nurse. There have many differences between hospital nurses and community nurses. Community nursing aims to lower the risk of patients who have needed hospital treatments, while nurses at hospitals deal with illnesses usually after they have progressed. After reading this article, a nurse will understand the difference between hospital nurses and community health nurses.

Community nurse VS hospital nurse
Community nurse VS hospital nurse

Key Difference Between Community Nurse and Hospital Nurse:

Hospital Nurse
Community Nurse
Hospital health nurses are population-focused or oriented. 
Community nurses are designated to a specific region and also provide various skills according to the particular needs of the specific community.
Unit of service has a single focus: the individual hospitalized patient or patients in a ward unit.
Unit of service has a double focus: small group, family. The nurse is concerned with subgroups of people or subgroups in the community.
Focused on treatment and care of sick and on restoring the individual’s balance towards health.
Focused on promoting health, also maintain a degree of balance toward health, early detection of disease, and also measuring care (restorative, facilitation, and rehabilitation.
The patients always under medical care. The diagnosis and treatment orders provide the framework for many aspects of nursing care activities.
Sometimes there is no medical diagnosis either in the patient or family under medical care. The nurse may take/make the health assessment, decision about the need for care, and referral.
The physician is the main medical authority. The nurse narrates the patient’s condition to him and the physician makes decisions about further medical treatment for the patients.
Medical autonomy is delegated to the nurse here. They represent medical authority in the home, school. They can take decisions for medical treatment in the immediate settings. Nurses have autonomy in planning and implementing nursing care measures for patients. They have extensive authority for making decisions and for developing initiating various health and group activities in the community and share this planning with various community groups.
Hospital nurses can communicate their findings to the physician for managing the patient’s care.
A community nurse is solely responsible for a patient’s care and may take independent decisions according to the patient’s condition such as referral.
Hospital nurses directly can contact the physician.
A community nurse can work alone.
Hospital nurses are concerned with the situations that affect multitudes of people. Example- Bird Flu, SARS flu, Zika virus.
Their work is more of health education, assessments, and investigations of disease patterns and the first line of action during disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks, or refugee camps.
Hospital nurses deliver health services in hospital settings.
Community nurses deliver health services in the community (versus hospital) settings such as health centers, schools, homeless shelters, or senior centers.
Their environment is a lot more controlled and contained.
Their environment is not more controlled. They
can visit the community at any time and carry out a risk assessment.
Hospital nurses can hand over to another nurse once their shift finishes and they also know that their patients are in safe hands.
Before leaving, a community nurse must determine whether it is safe to leave their patient alone or handover to a reliable person.
The hospital nurse provides necessary care to the patient who has a serious illness or traumatic injury that requires hospitalization.
Community nurse provides necessary care to the elderly persons and those who have low incomes.
Hospital nurses usually follow up with some specific hospitalized patients.
A community nurse usually follows up with multiple patients every day and may often travel from one home to another.
A hospital nurse may care for a definite patient once in the whole life of that patient.
They have the opportunity to build long-term  relationships with the community patients
and may visit several times in a week or month.

More questions related to this topic:

  1. What is the key difference between public health nurses and community nurses?
  2. What is the difference between hospital nursing and community pharmacy?
  3. Discuss the key roles of a community nurse.
  4. Mention some major differences between hospital nurses and home healthcare nurses.
  5. Discuss community nursing vs hospital nursing.

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