Challenges Faced By Public Health Nurses in Rural and Urban Settings

The top Challenges Faced By Public Health Nurses in Rural and Urban Settings are simplified in this piece of write up

On average, a person catches around 200 colds in their lifetime, and each time it requires care and attention for them to reach the health they were at before they got sick.

While a cold might not sound so serious, if things take a turn for the worse, there are some very special people who are ready day and night to nurse us back to health; we call them public health nurses.

These nourishing souls dedicate their lives, health, and time to work for the greater good and help the public stay on top of their health.

And although they toil away every day and face hardships, these enduring workers claim that the positives mostly make up for the negatives.

What’s The Issue, Then?

The issue is a plague on human morality. Just because public health nurses are bound by their bearing natures to keep their silence and swallow any complaints they may have does not give us, the public, the free reign to exploit their endurance as we see fit. Tragically, that is almost always the case.

The modern public health nurse faces many challenges on a daily basis, in both rural and urban settings, the least of which is exposure to contagious diseases.

Thus, as more and more aspiring nurses pour into public health nursing programs, endeavoring to become one of the gloriously dedicated servants of humanity, it becomes the duty of the very public they serve to lessen the challenges they face, so future generations of public health nurses are able to serve humanity in peace.

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That being said, change begins by acknowledging the concept of demanding change, so let’s take a look at some of those offending happenings that complicate the lives of public health nurses today.

Challenges Faced By Public Health Nurses in Rural and Urban Settings

Below are some of the top challenges faced by public health nurses in different geographical settings today;


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are around 28 million registered nurses operating in healthcare settings around the globe. Not all of them, however, are happy with their standing.

A 2014 survey conducted across 3,300 nurses found that they are overworked, underappreciated, and operating under extreme stress due to long work hours and tough demands from their workplaces.

Now the question remains, why are associations and organizations not doing anything to solve this dilemma? And this is just the situation faced by nurses in urban areas. But has anyone stopped to ask what is becoming of the nurses in rural areas with little resources and high demands? Maybe it’s about time we take these concerns into account.

Underpaid among the challenges Faced By Public Health Nurses

On average, nurses in the US earn from $3000 to $5000 per month. With that in mind, let’s consider that the average monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the US is $1,098. Now, for the average public health nurse, that is, from a third to a fifth of their salary, gone.

With a salary from which a solid portion is dedicated to rent for the cheapest apartment available, organizations responsible for public health nurses’ pay expect them to struggle through a whole month with just $2000 to $4000 at their disposal, and take care of food, clothing, medicine, electricity, gas, entertainment, possible children’s needs, continued education, and pay off student loans.

Let us halt for a bit and ask ourselves, is this truly reasonable pay for public health nurses who are called into work at any time of the day due to understaffing and are sometimes required to work up to 15 hours a day in such a physically taxing job that requires them to be on their feet and rushing from one patient to another? Yet another dilemma for healthcare organizations to ponder upon.


Nurses in urban areas are often found provided vans to commute to and from their workplaces. Suppose there is an issue with hospital-provided transportation. In that case, subways, buses, Ubers, or similar modes of transportation are always available, so nurses can easily reach medical centers and hospitals, which are usually situated in easily accessible areas.

However, the medical centers mostly found in rural areas are small-camping hospitals, which are usually removed from the main towns where there is access to electricity and resources.

These hospitals often possess little or no resources outside of their own facilities, making transportation for nurses and transfer of supplies very difficult.

This makes reaching the workplace a difficult task for nurses to accomplish, as rural areas, such as small towns and villages, usually do not have subways or buses. This can prove fatal for patients, especially when a nurse’s immediate attention is required, and there are none available, often due to understaffing.

Furthermore, this issue is also commonplace in urban areas, where overwork and understaffing are extremely common in nurses, and a well-rested nurse’s attention is required to aid a doctor and replace a maxed-out nurse.

If a nurse somehow misses the subway or can’t find a bus or Uber available, the consequences might be fatal for both her career and the patient in need of attention.  Chasing the supplies needed for routine medical care is especially hard.

This is troublesome since hospital supplies can sometimes take weeks to arrive at a hospital due to the same transportation challenges. Often, these supplies can make and break a patient’s life, so a delay in delivery can cost the patient their life.

At The End Of The Day

Our real-life superheroes—public health nurses—find themselves facing tough choices many times in their careers.

They rise and fall, and they get back up, ready to save the world once again. They are, however, human, and it would pain them to let the thought seep in that no one seems to appreciate their efforts outside of those alongside them in the workforce.

It falls to us, the general public, to cast light on our healthcare workers’ unceasing endeavors to aid the masses as much as they can so that they may finally get to enjoy an iota of the appreciation that they deserve. So that in the end, the challenges Faced By Public Health Nurses will be alleviated.


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