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Abstract

This study identified population groups, health conditions, and employment settings considered appropriate for graduate-level community health nursing (CHN) practice and employment, and described the relative importance of each of these areas as assessed by CHN leaders. According to 588 leaders in CHN service and education, (1) the population groups most in need of graduate-prepared CHNs are the elderly, persons of low socioeconomic status, the homeless, adolescents, and the unemployed; and (2) the health conditions most in need of CHN services are AIDS, pregnancy and prenatal problems, low birth weight and infant mortality, stress-related illness, and Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases of the elderly. Among the many employment settings rated as having a great need for CHNs are state and local health departments and home health agencies. The findings provide the direction and justification for developing specialty options within CHN that correspond to these identified and changing needs. This article provides suggestions and possible alternatives for initiating educational change to prepare graduate-level CHNs for these various specialties and for the settings in which the specialties will be applied.