Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Gilmet, Kelsey

Committee Member/Reader

Franks, Lisa


Homelessness has become a global public health concern as it results in poorer physical and mental health than age-matched people living in permanent housing (Ortiz & Roser, 2017). The area that comprises Northwest Arkansas (NWA), like other areas of the United States experiencing rapid growth, has seen a marked increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness in recent years. The homeless population is one of the most vulnerable and underserved groups of individuals in NWA and beyond. Public health nursing as a discipline is dedicated to providing compassionate care and exceptional service for all members of communities, with special attention to those who are marginalized, underserved, and most vulnerable. A better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses regarding our care of these communities is essential. In order to understand the health needs of our Northwest Arkansas community we must be able to first identify the gaps in care faced by the rest of the homeless communities around the United States. After reviewing 12 relevant sources the overarching conclusion pointed to the undeniable fact that those who are unhoused have worse health outcomes than their housed counterparts despite interventions. As nurses, it is our job to advocate for attainable and affordable housing to ensure better health outcomes for our patients. We can also play a large role in expanding our scope of practice to ensure the holistic care of unhoused patients. It is essential that Arkansas and NWA receive updated peer-reviewed research on the healthcare of homeless individuals and communities to better understand their needs and care.


Arkansas, Homelessness, Gaps in care, Barriers to care, Nursing Practice, Scope of practice