Rural Public Health and Nursing Care

Course #31961 - $90 -


The rural public health system is working to prevent disease and promote the highest level of well-being and quality of life for rural populations/communities in the United States. The role of the rural public health nurse is ever-evolving, as new public health infrastructures are being considered and implemented and as evidence-based ideas are being applied. Progress has been made in transforming the rural healthcare system and meeting the needs of every public community. This course will outline public health initiatives affecting rural populations as well as unique health and mental health considerations for these populations.

Education Category: Community Health
Release Date: 08/01/2022
Expiration Date: 07/31/2025

Table of Contents


This course is designed for nurses in all practice settings with patients from rural communities.

Accreditations & Approvals

In support of improving patient care, NetCE is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. NetCE is approved by the California Nursing Home Administrator Program as a provider of continuing education. Provider number 1622. NetCE is approved to offer continuing education through the Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators, Provider #50-2405. NetCE is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). NetCE complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, NetCE is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 15 ANCC contact hour(s). NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 18 hours for Alabama nurses. This home study course is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators for 15 credit hour(s). This course is approved by the California Nursing Home Administrator Program for 10 hour(s) of continuing education credit - NHAP#1622015-9430/P. California NHAs may only obtain a maximum of 10 hours per course. NetCE is authorized by IACET to offer 1.5 CEU(s) for this program. AACN Synergy CERP Category C.

Individual State Nursing Approvals

In addition to states that accept ANCC, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by: Alabama, Provider #ABNP0353, (valid through July 29,2025); Alabama, Provider #ABNP0353, (valid through July 29, 2025); Arkansas, Provider #50-2405; California, BRN Provider #CEP9784; California, LVN Provider #V10662; California, PT Provider #V10842; District of Columbia, Provider #50-2405; Florida, Provider #50-2405; Georgia, Provider #50-2405; Kentucky, Provider #7-0054 through 12/31/2025; South Carolina, Provider #50-2405; South Carolina, Provider #50-2405. West Virginia RN and APRN, Provider #50-2405.

Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to provide nurses with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide optimum care to rural residents and to advocate for the needs of this population.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the role of the public health nurse.
  2. Discuss the vital functions of public health.
  3. Operationally define rural and urban.
  4. Identify varying determinants characterizing rural populations.
  5. Describe the chronic illness, tobacco use, and cancer issues of rural populations.
  6. Outline the injuries and mental and dental health issues of the rural population.
  7. Analyze the access to care service issue for rural areas.
  8. Discuss the characteristics and issues of the rural public health workforce.
  9. Evaluate the responsiveness of emergency medical services (EMS) in rural regions.
  10. Discuss the public health agency, hospital, and the community health center.
  11. Describe the health issues of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations and the Indian Health Service (IHS).
  12. Identify issues of the aged and U.S. services for the aged.
  13. Outline health promotion and disease prevention for the rural population.
  14. Discuss how advanced communication technology can improve care access.
  15. Discuss initiatives to building nursing workforce capacity.
  16. Discuss schools and nurses as community health educators.


Mary Schmeida, RN, PhD, completed her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Kent State University in 1984. Her PhD in Political Science with a specialty tract of Public Policy Analysis and Design was completed in 2005. She has more than 40 years' experience within the U.S. healthcare service delivery system. As a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric-mental health nursing, she has held faculty positions at the university level and several research positions. Dr. Schmeida has presented numerous research papers in public health policy and healthcare at many conferences across the country. Her research is published in peer-reviewed journals, books, and international government reports.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Mary Schmeida, RN, PhD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

Jane C. Norman, RN, MSN, CNE, PhD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.

Implicit Bias in Health Care

The role of implicit biases on healthcare outcomes has become a concern, as there is some evidence that implicit biases contribute to health disparities, professionals' attitudes toward and interactions with patients, quality of care, diagnoses, and treatment decisions. This may produce differences in help-seeking, diagnoses, and ultimately treatments and interventions. Implicit biases may also unwittingly produce professional behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that reduce patients' trust and comfort with their provider, leading to earlier termination of visits and/or reduced adherence and follow-up. Disadvantaged groups are marginalized in the healthcare system and vulnerable on multiple levels; health professionals' implicit biases can further exacerbate these existing disadvantages.

Interventions or strategies designed to reduce implicit bias may be categorized as change-based or control-based. Change-based interventions focus on reducing or changing cognitive associations underlying implicit biases. These interventions might include challenging stereotypes. Conversely, control-based interventions involve reducing the effects of the implicit bias on the individual's behaviors. These strategies include increasing awareness of biased thoughts and responses. The two types of interventions are not mutually exclusive and may be used synergistically.