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Abstract Rapid health care delivery system changes combined with the Institute of Medicine's (1988) call for refocusing public health practice into the Core Functions provide an opportunity to shape community/public health nursing (C/PHN) education and practice for the future. Critical examination is the key to clarifying C/PHN practice. What is the practice now? Is it population-focused, community-based, or both? And what do these terms mean today? The purpose of this paper is to share the authors' thinking about what it is that makes population-focused nursing “different” from community-based practice, as well as unique and useful to the health care delivery system, through the examination of old and new terms and concepts. The significance of this article lies in its ability to encourage dialogue among our colleagues. It is hoped that thoughts shared here will stimulate action to define C/PHN practice in broader arenas.