NURS-FPX4060: Practicing in the Community to

NURS-FPX4060: Practicing in the Community to Improve Population Health

Health Promotion Plan

Nurses play various roles in improving public and community health. They contribute to practices leading to disease prevention, enhancing public safety, environmental protection, and health promotion. In contemporary settings, nurses also have to help identify significant public and community health concerns, creating a foundation for subsequent practices such as the development of effective interventions (Hoogervorst et al., 2023). Ideally, this helps them optimize health outcomes for individual patients, families, and aggregates in society. In this health promotion plan, the nurse in charge has identified alcohol and drug abuse as a significant community health concern that needs to be managed. The analysis explains the risk of alcohol and drug abuse, detailing contributing factors such as limited support and possible stereotyping within the community.


Rachael was discharged six weeks ago from a rehab center where she was admitted six months ago. She felt safe and wanted to join an alcohol and substance abuse support group. In one month, she aspired to resume her education, having stopped in her sophomore year after alcohol took a toll on her, affecting her mental well-being as she could hardly concentrate while in class. Previously, she had unsuccessfully tried to quit alcohol on several occasions but always found herself going back. This is what promoted her to opt for a rehabilitation center. For example, she got addicted to oxycodone after using it to manage pain following a drunk driving incident. Before going to rehab, the drug had become her go-to medication anytime she injured herself or felt pain.

Analyzing the Health Concerns

Alcohol and substance abuse are a significant health concern in most American communities. This is affirmed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2023), which indicates that at least 10.6% of Americans are currently affected by the concern. Moreover, its prevalence is across all demographic groups, making it challenging to evaluate incidence trends. For example, male US citizens aged at least 12 are affected by alcoholism or substance abuse are 16.6 million, while the health concern impacts 13 million females.
Regarding the selected patient, she had a conscious realization that she needed help for her continued alcoholism and drug abuse. This is because of her habitual or continued misuse of alcohol and other substances. As per Leza et al. (2021), alcohol and substance abuse are significant because of their adverse impacts. Principally, they lead to health inequity as those affected receive prejudice or are stereotyped, making it challenging to access quality healthcare. For example, community members often saw Rachael as a case of self-destruction, failing to see that she had a genuine health concern that needed professional medical assistance. Therefore, she received less support and had delayed access to care. Ideally, this can fasten the progression of alcohol and substance abuse into other concerns such as liver issues, mental disorders, or cardiovascular challenges.
The underlying points of uncertainty and assumptions regarding alcohol and drug abuse contribute to the increasing prevalence and incidence of the condition. The primary assumption is that alcohol and drug use is a recreational activity or engagement. This often prompts people to start using them early without being mindful of the possible causes. For example, Rachael felt that oxycodone was safe to use and had no adverse impacts, only for her to get addicted to it. The second point of uncertainty about alcoholism and rug use is managing the effects. In this regard, when most users feel intoxicated, they hope that the effects will wear off themselves with time. However, this may not always be the case. For example, one may assume the effects of excessive drinking, hoping they will get better with time. However, this may not be the cause as the consumed substance may block airways, damage the liver, or affect the functioning of the lungs, leading to death in the long run.

Why the Health Concern is Important for Health Promotion.

Alcohol and drug abuse are essential for health promotion because of their effects. In this regard, the concern is a risk factor for several health concerns. For example, Leza et al. (2021) explain that drug abuse and alcoholism can lead to mental challenges, affecting a person’s quality of life. Moreover, the illness can cause liver diseases, cancer, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. Therefore, alcohol and substance abuse needs to be addressed for health promotion as a way to prevent these adverse concerns.
The second reason why alcohol and substance abuse are essential for health promotion is because of their high prevalence. As per the 2017 findings by the American Addiction Centers (2023), 19.7 million US citizens aged at least 12 years struggle with the health condition. Alcohol had affected about 74% of them, while 38% abused illicit drugs. In the same period, approximately 8.5 million Americans experienced co-occurrence disorders, having both mental health issues and substance abuse disorders. The issue is also significant because the resulting adverse effects also impact economic outcomes as the US society losses about $740 billion yearly due to alcoholism and substance abuse. Mainly, these losses are through declining productivity, drug abuse-influenced crime, and medical expenses.
Alcohol and substance abuse are also significant for health promotion because they encourage various factors that contribute to health disparities and limited access to health services. This is depicted in the occurrence of alcohol harm paradox, which indicates that alcohol consumers with low socioeconomic status experience high levels of mortality and morbidity (Boyd et al., 2022). This is because the consumption of alcohol affects a person’s economic productivity. In the long run, this can lead to a lack of employment and subsequent lack of ability to access or pay for quality medical care. Moreover, mental instability caused by alcoholism and drug abuse affects a person’s ability to make conscious decisions about seeking medical care. The result in increased health disparity between affected people and other population groups.

Importance Of Establishing Agreed-Upon Health Goals

The primary importance of establishing agreed-upon goals in collaboration with other personnel is increasing coordination. In this regard, if all stakeholders agree on a particular objective, they will understand their roles and commit to completing them effectively, leading to better coordination (Sillner et al., 2021). For example, agreeing on a goal with Rachael will make her commit to it, such as stopping regular intake of oxycodone.
Establishing agreed upon goals is also essential because it increases the success chances of health promotion plans. This is because in setting the goals, all participants are included and their opinions considered. Therefore, they will be committed to completing their roles, leading to the overall success of the health plan.

Agreed Upon Smart Goals

In the hypothetical case scenario, the greed upon goals with Rachael comprised her desisting from taking any oxycodone (specific and measurable) unless under the guidance of healthcare personnel for the next year (time-bound). The goal is attainable and realistic because she is not required to abruptly stop using the drug, which could be challenging. However, she can still use it unless she is under the guidance of qualified medical personnel.
In conclusion, it is essential to develop health promotion plans as nurses can use them to improve community health outcomes. Principally, the plans point out significant health concerns in the community, which helps establish a background for developing effective interventions for the identified health concern. Alcohol and drug abuse are a significant concern as they affect many people and also lead to health disparities by eliciting various challenges in accessing quality care.


American Addiction Centers. (2023, July 7). Alcohol and Drug Abuse Statistics (Facts About Addiction).
Boyd, J., Sexton, O., Angus, C., Meier, P., Purshouse, R. C., & Holmes, J. (2022). Causal mechanisms proposed for the alcohol harm paradox-a systematic review. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 117(1), 33–56.
Hoogervorst, M. M., van Meijel, B., Bruin, E. K., Beekman, A., Boonstra, N., & Adriaanse, M. (2023). The nurse-led GILL eHealth intervention for improving physical health and lifestyle behaviors in clients with severe mental illness: design of a cluster-randomized controlled trial. BMC psychiatry, 23(1), 672.
Leza, L., Siria, S., López-Goñi, J. J., & Fernández-Montalvo, J. (2021). Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and substance use disorder (SUD): A scoping review. Drug and alcohol dependence, 221, 108563.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2023). Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States: Age groups and demographic characteristics | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Sillner, A. Y., Madrigal, C., & Behrens, L. (2021). Person-Centered Gerontological Nursing: An Overview Across Care Settings. Journal of gerontological nursing, 47(2), 7–12.

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