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NR 503 Week 1 Discussion-Exercise and Discussion Questions from Curley Text Book

Week 1 Discussion-Exercise and Discussion Questions from Curley Text Book

The preventable differences that “socially disadvantaged populations” have related to injury, violence, the burden of disease, or even the achievement of an ideal level of health are known as health disparities (HD) (CDC, 2018). Several factors define a population (CDC, 2018). These factors include education, gender, income, disability, race, geographic location, sexual orientation, and ethnicity (CDC, 2018). HDs are unjust and are associated with the imbalanced disbursement of resources (CDC, 2018). HD can be caused by a wide range of factors (Curley & Vitale, 2016). These include unequal educational opportunities, environmental threats, insufficient access to healthcare, poverty level, behavioral and individual characteristics, housing, access to clean water and fresh food, physical or mental disability, work environment, and socioeconomic status (Curley & Vitale, 2016). Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are morally committed to caring about people and must continually fight against these inequities (Pearson, 2012). These APRNs understand that most chronic health-related issues correlate with societal injustices (Pearson, 2012).

Understanding a community’s needs aids in serving the community more efficiently (Ballad Health, 2018). This can be accomplished by performing a needs assessment that aids in the visualization of the health status of its inhabitants (Ballad Health, 2018). In the health needs assessment conducted by Ballad Health for Dickenson County, Virginia, it was determined that socioeconomic status plays a significant role in the health of its population (Ballad Health, 2018). Most of the households in Dickenson County have a significantly lower household income than the rest of the state (Ballad Health, 2018). For Dickenson County in 2018, the average household income was $25,000-$50,000. However, for the state, the average was around $68,144 (Ballad Health, 2018). Only 35% of the population in Dickenson County has a high school diploma, and only 10% have a bachelor’s level education or higher (Ballad Health, 2018). Another HD in Dickenson County is access to care (Ballad Health, 2018). Dickenson County only has four primary care offices, individuals must travel over 50 miles for specialized care to receive treatment (Ballad Health, 2018).

Week 1 Discussion-Exercise and Discussion Questions from Curley Text Book

APRNs are in a prime position to aid in eliminating HD (Curley & Vitale, 2016). APRNs can support minority groups with poor health outlooks in several ways (Curley & Vitale, 2016). These include (but are not limited to) advocating for better/more affordable health insurance for them and ensuring that health services are sufficient in underserved areas (Curley & Vitale, 2016).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published Healthy People 2020 in December 2010 (Curley & Vitale, 2016). This initiative is a roadmap for the U.S. to achieve specific health objectives (Curley & Vitale, 2016). These objectives were established to aid in the improvement of all Americans (Curley & Vitale, 2016). The specific goals that can help in efforts to reduce HDs include:

  • AHS-1.1 Increase the proportion of persons with medical insurance
  • AHS-3 Increase the proportion of persons with a usual primary care provider
  • AHS-4.1 (Developmental) Increase the number of practicing medical doctors
  • AHS-4.4 (Developmental) Increase the number of practicing nurse practitioners
  • HC/HIT-1.1Increase the proportion of persons who report their health care provider always gave them easy-to-understand instructions about what to do to take care of their illness or health condition

(HP2020, 2019)


Ballad Health. (2018). Community Health Needs Assessment: Dickenson Community Hospital. Retrieved from Ballad Health:

CDC. (2018, August 17). Health Disparities. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Curley, A. L., & Vitale, P. A. (2016). Population-Based Nursing: Concepts and Competencies for Advanced Practice (Second ed.). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

HP2020. (2019). Data2020 Search. Retrieved from Healthy People 2020:

Pearson, G. S. (2012). The concept of social justice for our psychiatric nursing practice. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 48, 185-186.


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Week 1 Discussion-Exercise and Discussion Questions from Curley Text Book

Exercise 2.6 APRNs should recognize and make it part of their practice to develop strategies to reduce or eliminate health disparities. Review information from Healthy People 2020 and the CDC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities websites.

  1. What health disparities can you find that are relevant to your community?
  2. How can you better advocate for minority groups who have poorer health outcomes?
  3. What specific objectives in Healthy People 2020 can help this effort?

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