Factors influencing community nursing roles and health service provision in rural areas: a review of literature

Annette Barrett, Daniel R. Terry, Quynh Lê, Ha Hoang
2016 Contemporary Nurse: health care across the lifespan  
Conflict of interest None Funding statement This project was funding by the Centre for Rural Health (CRH), University of Tasmania (UTas) as part of the Primary Health Care Scholarship which is a project-based research training opportunity attached to research projects operating within the CRH. These placements provide an opportunity for primary health care professionals with an interest in research to build their research skills, experience and track record through hands-on involvement in an
more » ... nvolvement in an existing or new research project under the guidance of experienced researchers. Abstract Aims: This review seeks to better understand the issues and challenges experienced by community nurses who work in rural areas where other health care organisations are limited and how these issues and challenges shape their roles. Methods : EPOCH, MEDLINE, PubMed, ProQuest Health and Medical, Nursing Consult, CINAHL, and Informit Health Collection databases were searched using key search terms to identify relevant English studies focusing on the issues and challenges experienced by rural generalist community nurses in developed countries published between 1990 and 2015. Reference lists of retrieved articles were manually searched for other relevant studies. Generic and grey literature, including dissertations, relating to the subject area was also searched. The search was systematically conducted multiple times to assure accuracy. Results: A total of 78 articles were obtained and 14 articles met the inclusion criteria. This critical review identifies some common issues impacting community nursing. These issues were influenced by a range of factors including role definition, organizational change, human resource, workplace and geographic challenges. Conclusion: This review indicates community nurses are flexible, autonomous, able to adapt care to the service delivery setting, and have a diversity of knowledge and skills. Considerably more research is essential to identify, quantify and articulate the factors that impact rural community nursing practice. In addition, greater advocacy is required for role definition that moves beyond the interests of the profession to focus more on developing the role that addresses client outcomes.
doi:10.1080/10376178.2016.1198234 pmid:27264878 fatcat:n5bjfbges5bibc63hzvwjho7ru