Community Resiliency: The Potential for Community Health Nursing Theory Development


  • Judith C Kulig R.N., D.N.Sc.

    1. Judith C. Kulig is an Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada, and an Academic Consultant, Chinook Health Region, Canada.
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Address correspondence to Judith C. Kulig, Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive W., Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4, Canada. E-mail:


There is insufficient theory development within community health nursing that addresses the community as a collective and not simply as groupings of aggregates. Conceptual clarification of nursing's domains is needed, however, before theory development can take place. In an attempt to rectify this situation, this article discusses the environment domain. Community resiliency, or the ability of a community to deal with adversity and in so doing reach a higher level of functioning, is presented as a useful framework to gain greater understanding of this particular domain. Findings from research that have resulted in a community resiliency model for describing the environment domain, within which rural-based community health nurses (CHNs) work, are presented. The relevance for community health nursing theory is included with recommendations for future research and subsequent theory development.