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Community resiliency and rural nursing: Canadian and Australian Perspectives
chapterposted on 14.02.2018, 00:00 by JC Kulig, Desley Hegney, DS Edge
In the last several years, considerable discussion about the applicability of resiliency to understand and augment community functioning has occurred. Community resiliency is a process that describes change, provides an opportunity to focus on strengths, and offers opportunities for residents to be involved. Agencies such as the Red Cross have found that through the development of social capital and cross-sectoral coalitions in communities that have experienced disasters, resiliency is enhanced (J. Walter, 2005). In this chapter, examples of Canadian-led and Australian-led research on community resiliency in Canada, Australia, and the United States illustrate how rural communities have dealt with adversity. The rural communities in the Canadian-led research discussed here were all under 10,000 in population size, which matches the rural and small town definition commonly used to describe communities of that size outside the commuting zones of large urban centers (du Plessis, Beshiri, Bollman, & Clemenson, 2001). Communities serve to satisfy their members' needs (MacMillan & Chavis, 1986) and are places where interactions and social relationships are tantamount (Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler, & Tipton, 1996; Hawe, 1994). The community-based research exemplars suggest how rural registered nurses (RNs) can enhance community resiliency and ultimately improve the health status of rural residents and the sustainability of rural communities.