Nursing care is the backbone of health system. Nurses role
are very critical in delivering health services and increasing
equity of healthcare provision. They are the agents of change
within health system and play a key role in addressing various
social determinants of heath. The role of nurses in primary
healthcare encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of
individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or
well in community settings. It includes the promotion of health,
the prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying
people. India is undergoing a major epidemiological transition.
Over the last 26 years, the country’s disease patterns have shifted.
Mortality due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional
diseases (CMNNDs) has declined substantially. Non-communicable
diseases (NCDs) and injuries are increasingly contributing to
overall disease burden. The proportion of burden of diseases in
India due to CMNNDs reduced from 53.6% in 1990 to 27.5% in
2016. NCDs related burden of diseases increased from 37.9% to
61.8% and burden due to injuries changed from 8.5% to 10.7%.
Life expectancy at birth improved in India from 59.7 years in 1990
to 70.3 years in 2016 for females, and from 58.3 years to 66.9 years
for males. Therefore, the role of nurses in primary healthcare
has changed due to the change in disease burden from CMNNDs
to NCDs and injuries. Along with that they have the crucial role
in recently announced Health and Wellness Centers and National
Health Protection Scheme with will cover more than half a billion
population in India.