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community, community health nursing, empowerment, health promotion



  1. Sheilds, Laurene E. RN, PhD
  2. Lindsey, A. Elizabeth RN, PhD


Evolving definitions of community and health promotion require the examination of community nursing practice.This article critically explores how the meanings of community may influence community nursing practice. In nursing, the most common definitions of community are of community as context/resource and community as client. The authors postulate that these definitions of community influence the nature of community practice. Moreover, if nurses are to practice within the context of health promotion, focusing on community as a relational experience, new patterns of community health promotion practice will need to emerge. This pattern of practice most honor people's experiences of community including power relations present in community. A new pattern of community health promotion nursing practice encompasses the four components of listening and critical reflection; participatory dialogue and critical questioning; pattern emergence and recognition; and movement to action.