University of Tasmania
Barrett et al. August 2015.pdf (536.42 kB)

Rural community nurses: insights into health workforce and health service needs

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 13:00 authored by Barrett, A, Terry, DR, Le, Q, Thi HoangThi Hoang
Community nurses often work in isolation, particularly in rural areas where many other non-government adjunct health services are absent. At times, they feel overwhelmed, stressed and undervalued while undertaking diverse responsibilities. The study aimed to examine the benefits and challenges community nurses experience when working in rural and remote areas of Tasmania, Australia while determining the specialty skills and practices to meet rural health needs. An explorative research design using a phenomenological approach was adopted. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with a convenient sample of 15 community nurses from the North and North-west areas of Tasmania. This yielded insight into the rural workforce challenges, gaps in services and the community nurses' lived experience of providing adequate health services to these communities. The results indicated significant variations in the structure and type of community nursing services and a number of key challenges were identified within the profession. Despite these challenges community nurses interviewed indicated high levels of job satisfaction and long term employment. Given the diversity in both community nursing roles and factors impacting on the role further research is required to examine the exact roles and levels of integration between specialist and generalist community nursing roles while exploring and more clearly defining the role of the contemporary community nurse in Australia. Consideration should also be given to embracing community nursing diversity which is an important aspect of best practice for future community nursing.


Publication title

International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society








School of Health Sciences


Common Ground Publishing

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Common Ground, Annette Barrett, Daniel R. Terry, Quynah Le, Ha Hoang

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified

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