Health Disparities in Rural Underserved Areas

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 1
Words: 285
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: Master

Limited access to health facilities and services is an ongoing problem for people living in rural underserved regions. James et al. (2017) argue that this is mainly due to economic and infrastructural reasons. Each ethnic group is affected by this problem, but minorities have the worst. Most ethnic minorities have less access to educational institutions and, consequently, lower levels of educational attainment (James et al., 2017). Alcoholism is prevalent among rural non-Hispanic whites, while heart disease and stroke are common in Black populations (James et al., 2017). Country Asian people suffer from tuberculosis, and Native Americans have the highest suicide rates (James et al., 2017). “Having a regular source of care” is a significant challenge for Hispanics living in rural areas (James et al., 2017, p. 1). The author of the post is correct that nurses can solve these problems using telehealth methods. For example, virtual visits are conducted through computer and telephone devices and help patients cope with their conditions (James et al., 2017). They also protect nurses, especially in these times of the global pandemic.

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Nurses’ arsenal of methods for addressing health disparities in rural underserved communities is not limited to conventional and telehealth practices and procedures only. Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) can also eliminate health inequalities through social activism. According to Poghosyan and Carthon (2017), “restrictive SOP regulations may discourage NPs from practicing in all parts of the state” (p. 89). By advocating the relaxation of state regulations for medical practices, ARNPs improve the health status of many rural communities that face socioeconomic barriers to healthcare services and infrastructure (Ortiz et al., 2018). Less restricted medical practice directly leads to greater access to primary care that rural communities need so much.


James, C. V., Moonesinghe, R., Wilson-Frederick, S. M., Hall, J. E., Penman-Aguilar, A., & Bouye, K. (2017). Racial/ethnic health disparities among rural adults — the United States, 2012–2015. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 66(23), 1-9. Web.

Ortiz, J., Hofler, R., Bushy, A., Lin, Y. L., Khanijahani, A., & Bitney, A. (2018). Impact of nurse practitioner practice regulations on rural population health outcomes. Healthcare, 6(2), 65-72.

Poghosyan, L., & Carthon, J. M. B. (2017). The untapped potential of the nurse practitioner workforce in reducing health disparities. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 18(2), 84-94.