In recent times the U.S. population has gotten healthier due to changes in behaviors and lifestyles, advances in automobile and workplace safety and reductions in infectious diseases. But even with all the advances the disparities in healthy individuals that exist in both urban and rural counties is large by a wide margin. According to a report from the 2016 County Health Rankings report it states that, “ rates of premature deaths has been higher in rural counties fore many years, and will continue to rise in those areas even as they drop in urban areas”.
Although the report doesn’t explain what factors contribute to the disparities but some that may have an impact include behaviors such as smoking and drug abuse, diet and exercise, access to clinical care, education, socioeconomic factors and even physical environment (i.e. poor water quality and housing). Furthermore what the article suggests is that it important for people from across the community to come together to identify priorities and provide evidence informed strategies. Nurses can do this by counseling patients in healthy behaviors, work with health institutions to create policies that support these healthy behaviors and even serve on boards and work with local business to encourage economic development.