The roles of, activities of, and competencies for, community nursing services in rural Vietnam: Implications for policy decisions

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Community health workforce plays a vital role in providing primary health care services as per the needs of residents; however, few studies have examined how nurses work within commune health centers (CHCs). Using qualitative methods including interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders, this study explores the roles, activities, and competencies required of community nursing services in rural districts within Vietnam. Two primary roles were identified: CHC nursing and family nursing. For the latter, in addition to providing people with general health care and health communication, they were expected to also deliver psychological care. CHC nursing fulfilled more roles and required four specific competencies: clinical care, communication, management, and planning/coordination activities. Despite these various roles serving people within a community, few ongoing efforts at either the local or national level are aimed at supporting these nurses. The study highlights the need for policy decisions via either developing a new job position policy or adapting the existing policy by integrating new roles into the existing positions of CHC nurses in Vietnam.

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