Research Output

Developing the community environmental health role of the nurse in partnership with local communities

  Aims: To describe two models that emerged from one qualitative study: the community environmental health model and the community engagement model.
Background: To participate in an explicit community environmental role demands that nurses challenge professional ideologies in order
to partake in the social and environmental dimensions of community nursing.
Methods: Mixed methods within an interpretive approach drawing upon critical social theory. The study focused on one critical situation as a case study, namely the development of a local waste strategy that includes a proposal for a waste incinerator. The sample was derived from documentation related to the case, members of the public, members of local and national government, expert informants and community nurses. Data collection included individual and focus group interviews, observation, local media and policy documentation and was collected between 2003 and 2005.
Findings: The pursuit of community environmental health requires a framework for dialogue between stakeholders. The emergence of the community environmental health model demonstrates how community nurses can support a community with environmental health concerns and the emergence of the community engagement model reveals a cross-sector strategy.
Discussion: These models will enable community nurses to participate as partners in community environmental health without feeling restricted by organisational policies or fear of conflict. This critical study has shed light on the meaning of nursing advocacy which involves the examination of the multiple agendas of stakeholders involved in decisions that affect communities.
Conclusions: Nurses can become involved in environmentaldecision-making and environmental advocacy in partnership with the community. Ultimately nurses can act as a resource to communities and to policymakers. Fulfillment of the role will also require working within defined geographical boundaries, a clear environmental health agenda and the development of an environmental information base from which to draw.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    24 March 2009

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.7 Medical education, research & nursing

  • Funders:

    University of Aberdeen


Carnegie, E. (2009, March). Developing the community environmental health role of the nurse in partnership with local communities. Paper presented at The 2009 RCN International Nursing Research Conference, Cardiff City Hall, Cardiff



Community nursing, environmental health, community environmental health, health visitors

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