Comment patricia | Nursing homework help




All populations have some risk, but risks for multiple illness conditions and premature death are much higher for specific populations. Community health nurses need to explore the multiple factors that contribute to health disparities among vulnerable portions of the population. Vulnerability is the predisposition or susceptibility to injury, illness, or premature death. To improve health status and reduce risk in high-risk populations, nurses must work with communities to identify and change, where possible, the factors that contribute to the populations’ vulnerability (Maurer & Smith 2013 paga 398).

The awareness of groups “at risk” for poor health differs from vulnerable populations. “A population at risk is a population with common identified risk factor exposure that poses a threat to health (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014 pg 189). For instance, a population at risk for cardiovascular disease consists of all adults who are overweight and hypertensive. A population at risk is characterized by homogeneously high level of exposure to a single risk factor and all individuals in an “at risk” group can potentially develop an adverse health condition due to some risk factor. For example,  smoking, which places all smokers at risk for developing lung cancer.

 A vulnerable population is a “subgroup of the population that is more likely to develop health conditions for which they are at risk, which makes them more vulnerable” (Stanhope & Lancaster). For example, an individual with chronic condition such as cancer may already have difficulty managing his/her condition and have less physical ability to cope with stress than someone without such condition, thus putting them at risk for developing other comorbidities. Therefore, vulnerability results from the combined effects of limited resources, which create a more hazardous situation (Stanhope & Lancaster.

Living in a community with limited resources affects vulnerability in many ways. Those who are poor are faced with many risk factors that cause chronic stress. For Example, violence, barriers to health care and bills. Thus impacting their abilities to effectively respond to stressful situations.  Lack of knowledge, resources, skills and language barriers can further negatively impact the ability to overcome stress producing situations. The goal for nurse is to represent vulnerable population and help them solve problems and develop solutions for their situations. For example, elderly groups, they are vulnerable to emotional, physical health and socioeconomic problems. Those who are mentally and physically disable and do not speak English and are financially burden all need assistance to at take advantage of and utilize services and programs that may benefit them. In the role of advocacy, nurses should collaborate with the elderly and develop understanding of their values and perception and help the achieve independence through effective education and access to resources.


Maurer, F., Smith, C. (201). Community/Public Health Nursing Practice, 5th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from

Stanhope, M. & Lancaster, J. (2014). Public Health Nursing: Population-Centered care in the community (8th ed). Retrieved from