The purpose of this study was to explore the online discussions of postlicensure nursing students taking a community health course in an RN-to-BSN program. Final discussion forums asked students to share their perceptions and understandings of the public and community health nurses' role and practice after participating in a community health clinical course. Inductive content analysis was used to assess the narratives. Analysis of the discussions yielded two categories: (1) awareness by the RNs of their individual community and the context of the public and community health nursing role, and (2) increased understanding of the patients' experience with transitions between health care settings (home-hospital-home). This research suggests a need to assess practicing RNs' professional understanding and teaching of the public and community health nurses' role if they are to facilitate effective patient transitions home and into community-based settings.
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