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This course is part of the Public Health and Nursing ExpertTrack

Public Health and Nursing: The Greatest Wealth is Health

Explore definitions and models of health, as well as the wider factors that affect an individual's health.

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 5
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Examine the responsibility of a nurse in public health

It is important that, as a nurse, you think critically about health and wellbeing and evaluate how your own values, beliefs, and attitudes regarding health inequalities may impact on your assumptions and approach to public health in everyday practice.

On this course, you’ll be encouraged to think about the meaning of health and consider holistic, medical, and social approaches to it.

Understand different models of health and wellbeing

You’ll explore different health models, critiquing the medical model of health, and exploring the social model and the ‘salutogenic’ approach to health.

You’ll have the chance to define what wellbeing means in practice, and understand why it matters in the context of health promotion and social reform.

Identify why health inequalities exist

As a nurse, it’s important to bear in mind that not everyone has equal access to healthcare.

Alongside health experts at Coventry, you’ll learn why health inequalities between rich and poor persist, exploring both social and behavioural factors.

Finally, you’ll look at how we can tackle these health inequalities, including examining the distribution of power and resources in society.

This course is designed for experienced nurses wanting or needing to extend their understanding of how nurses can act as promoters of health.


  • Week 1

    Health and wellbeing

    • Health as value

      This week we will think critically about the complex and contested nature of the terms "health" and "wellbeing" and the challenges and implications this may create for public health practice.

    • How should health be defined?

      ‘Health’ throughout history has been the subject of endless debate. It has been theorised and analysed, for example, within the disciplines of medicine, psychology, sociology, policy, politics and anthropology.

    • Models of health

      Now that you have explored the World Health Organisation definition of health, in this section we examine some professional models of, or approaches to defining, health.

    • Health and wellbeing

      In this section we shall think about the term wellbeing. Public health is concerned with improving health and wellbeing but how can wellbeing be defined?

    • End of the week

      In this section we review and reflect on what has been covered this week and revist the Big Question.

  • Week 2

    Inequalities in health

    • Welcome

      The unequal distribution of health and wellbeing is an important concern for societies, governments and public health across the world and this week we will think about why they exist and what can be done to reduce them.

    • Introduction to health inequality and health equity

      In this section we will start to think about concepts of health inequality and health equity.

    • Explaining why health inequalities exist

      There is much research and numerous debate investigating explanations for the existence of health inequalities. There is no one answer for their existence and this makes reducing health inequalities a complex and challenging task.

    • Reducing health inequalities

      Having considered a number of explanations for the existence of health inequalities we go on to look at how we might tackle them.

    • End of the week

      Review and reflect on what you have covered this week and find out what you will be learning about next week.

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
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  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Evaluate critically the contribution of lay, official and professional accounts of health as approaches to promoting public health
  • Discuss the importance of wellbeing to the public health agenda
  • Develop a critical understanding of the possible explanations for the causes of health inequalities
  • Assess the role of the nurse in working for health equity

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for experienced nurses wanting or needing to extend their understanding of how nurses can act as promoters of health.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured 5 QS Stars for Teaching and Online Learning in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and has received No. 1 in the world for Massive Open Online Courses in MoocLab’s World University Ranking 2021.

  • Established

  • Location


About this ExpertTrack

Explore how nurses can assess community health needs, and analyse public health theories to lead public health promotion.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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