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Abstract Community health nurse (CHN) specialists have advanced educational preparation in both nursing and the public health sciences. They are called on to perform numerous advanced practice roles in public health and other community agencies, one of which is program planning. To perform this role effectively, CHN specialists should use conceptual models to guide application of the nursing process in a population-based practice. One such model developed by a nurse for use in planning community health programs is the McLaughlin model. It was used to address the community diagnosis of risk for childhood lead poisoning, a long-standing public health problem currently receiving renewed attention from federal public health authorities. Applications of conceptual models in practice settings can test such model's efficacy, enrich the scientific basis of community health nursing practice, and ultimately improve the health of the community.