Public Health Nursing
Job Outlook and Salary
According to Johnson & Johnson, the average yearly salary for a public health nurse is between $40,000 - $55,000. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for registered nurses is positive, with 26% expected job growth between 2010 and 2020.
According to Johnson & Johnson, to become a public health nurse, an individual must first become a registered nurse. This is accomplished by earning a nursing diploma, an ADN, or a BSN and passing the NCLEX-RN. Then, he or she must work as a registered nurse for at least 500 hours in the field of public health nursing. Finally, this individual must take and pass the Community/Public Health Nursing certification exam in order to become certified as a public health nurse.
The duties that fall on a public health nurse are quite vast and numerous. A public health nurse can monitor health trends as well as health risk factors that are specific to a local community; set priorities for local, health-associated interventions to offer the greatest number of benefits to people; communicate with local, federal and state governments to improve any access to health services for underprivileged communities; come up with health education campaigns and illness prevention activities like screenings and immunizations; inform people in the community about healthcare programs and services in the area; and educate and offer direct services to at-risk and vulnerable populations. The work of a public health nurse can even take them into settings such as schools, community centers and even senior centers. In those work environments, a public health nurse can explain proper nutrition, teach people about proper safety measures, suggest early detection of common illnesses, instruct people how to take care of stricken family members, and inform the community about significant health concerns for the area.