Public Health Nurse Job Profile

Getting a public health nurse job can provide you with a way to get involved with the community and make a difference. Public health nurses provide a valuable service to many that need medical help. Here are the basics of being a public health nurse and what you can expect from the job. 

Becoming a Public Health Nurse

The process of becoming a public health nurse involves a lot of formal education. You will need to start out by obtaining your high school diploma and then moving on to nursing school. You will need to become a registered nurse in order to become a public health nurse. You can do this one of two ways: The first route involves attending a community college and getting a two-year associate's degree. The second route involves attending a university and getting a 4 year bachelor's degree. Either route can get you to being an RN, but the 4 year education is typically preferred as it is more in-depth. Once you graduate from college, you will have to pass a licensing exam known as the NCLEX-RN. Once you pass this exam, you will be able to start practicing as a registered nurse.

Basic Tasks

The job of a public health nurse involves many different tasks. You will work for a public health organization and help individuals and families with medical problems. You will consult with them and try to determine what issues they may have. You will be required to perform case management services for patients. Many public health nurses will also regularly conduct teaching and training on various medical matters. You will be available to help the general public with medical care and assistance. You will need to be able to keep track of your cases and document their progress. Typically, you will have to do a fair amount of paperwork as well. Many public health nurses work with pregnant women in order to help them understand how to have a successful pregnancy. You may also administer vaccinations or other medications as needed.

Work Schedule

In most cases, a public health nurse will work approximately 40 hours per week. You will work whenever your clinic is open which is usually Monday through Friday during the day. In some cases, you may need to put in extra hours when the demand for your services is high. 

Salary

The median salary for a public health nurse is approximately $51,000 per year. As you advance your career, this number can go up significantly.

Opportunities for Advancement

As a public health nurse, you will typically have several opportunities for advancement. Some public health nurses move up to management roles within the clinics that they work for and supervise other nurses. You may also eventually be able to become some type of administrator within the public health system.

Finding a Job

If you are currently looking for a job as a public health nurse, you may want to consider looking at nursingjobs.org. They have up-to-date job listings as well as other important information.