Q. What is the difference between hospital and community nursing?


Hanna Schmillen, our health sciences librarian, offers the suggestions below. 

With topics such as these, it can be helpful to think about what those differences are before you do an article search. And if you are unsure of what those could be, then this is where Google can be helpful in the brainstorming process.

Possible differences:

  • Community nursing focuses on outreach, advocacy, health education, domestic violence, child development, self-care, and policy change. This is more proactive work for the whole community, not just one patient. They can also be school nurses.
  • Hospital nurses can be more specialized by their unit within their work. The work is more reactionary like the E.R. or office visits. These nurses tend to work with people one-on-one and think about individual patient education.


You will probably not find recently published research article that describes the differences between the two. You may have to find a couple articles on each one individually, then demonstrate the differences in your writing.


So for community nursing, I may search like this in CINAHL: (community OR public) AND (nurse OR nursing) AND (outreach OR advocacy)


Hospital nursing, I may search in CINAHL: (hospital OR clinic) AND (nurse OR nursing) AND (emergency OR ER)


  • Last Updated Nov 15, 2019
  • Views 503
  • Answered By Natasha Simons

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