community health nursing, expertise, interpretive phenomenology, narratives, public health nursing



  1. SmithBattle, Lee RN, DNSc
  2. Drake, Mary Ann RN, PhD
  3. Diekemper, Margaret RNC, MS


This interpretive study examined the expertise that is often unrecognized in the everyday practice of community health nurses.Twenty-five nurses participated in the study and were asked to describe meaningful clinical situations during group and individual interviews. Field notes of observations of clinical situations and transcribed interviews were analyzed as a text. A major finding of the study involved the nurse's responsive use of self. Responsiveness to the other enabled the nurse to gain a situated understanding of clients' lives and to cultivate clients' strengths and connections to a responsive community.