Descriptor: Population health spans the healthcare delivery continuum from public health prevention to disease management of populations and describes collaborative activities with both traditional and non-traditional partnerships from affected communities, public health, industry, academia, health care, local government entities, and others for the improvement of equitable population health outcomes. (Kindig & Stoddart, 2003; Kindig, 2007; Swartout & Bishop, 2017; CDC, 2020).
Contextual Statement: A population is a discrete group that the nurse and others care for across settings at local, regional, national, and global levels. Population health spans the healthcare delivery continuum, including public health, acute care, ambulatory care, and longterm care. Population health also encompasses collaborative activities among stakeholders – all relevant individuals and organizations involved in care, including patients and communities themselves - for the improvement of a population’s health status. The purpose of these collaborative activities, including development of interventions and policies, is to strive towards health equity and improved health for all. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and ethics must be emphasized and valued. Accountability for outcomes is shared by all, since outcomes arise from multiple factors that influence the health of a defined group. Population health includes population management through systems thinking, including health promotion and illness prevention, to achieve population health goals (Storfjell, Wehtle, Winslow, & Saunders, 2017). Nurses play a critical role in advocating for, developing, and implementing policies that impact population health globally and locally. In addition, nurses respond to crises and provide care during emergencies, disasters, epidemics, or pandemics. They play an essential role in system preparedness and ethical response initiatives. Although each type of public health emergency will likely require a unique set of competencies, preparedness for responding begins with a population health perspective and a particular focus on surveillance, prevention, and containment of factors contributing to the emergency.