Public Health Nursing
Nursing in the public health sector is a type of nursing specialty, which students can learn all about in the right nursing programs. This kind of nursing specialty is one that is concerned with offering nursing services that can only benefit the public health of a society. It can be said that public health nurses care for entire communities at one time, which is quite in contrast with regular nurses who usually take care of only one patient at one time. Public health nurses need to have the right nursing education, which enables them to work with whole communities to educate people about various health issues, increase the community access to care, and even strengthen the safety and the health of the community at large. People who want to hold nurse jobs in this nursing specialty have to really enjoy dealing with and interacting with people in their local community.
Nursing schools offer a good number of courses and degrees in public health nursing, but beyond that, someone who wants to succeed as a public health nurse also has to broaden his or her education to include training in specific areas. For instance, certain online nursing programs may provide specialized training in applicable issues like social services and healthcare policy. In addition, nurses who want to be recognized even further can even obtain special certification in public health nursing from a board. This will also help them in obtaining work more easily compared to public health nurses who do not have this certification.
Both online LPN programs and online RN programs offer courses in public health nursing, and the work environment for a public health nurse is diverse. A public health nurse can work in a public health clinic, where he or she will offer services like low-cost or even free medical services to people who come from a low-income background. Treatments at a public health clinic can consist of routine vaccinations, physical examinations and the like. Additional services that are available in public health clinics are things like educational classes for the community, which specialize in courses like baby care and nutrition. Public health nurses can also choose to work in a healthcare policy setting, where they assist in designing policy and approaches to tackle the health of a local community. Public health nurses may also be employed by the government, where they come up with ideas to address public health concerns.
The duties that fall on a public health nurse are quite vast and numerous. After finishing an LPN program or an RN program, a public health nurse can monitor health trends as well as pick out 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 things like the right 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.
Like all other types of nurses, the demand for this nursing specialty is high, which can be attributed to the fact that people will never stop getting sick. People who work in public health nursing occupations can expect a quite bright outlook for future employment, particularly in communities that are low-income, since they are underserved in a medical sense. Employment looks bright for public health nurses from the perspective of government health agencies, too, as they realize the preemptive benefits of preventative public health services. These types of services reduce overall costs because people are educated on how to prevent illness instead of waiting to come down with sickness. There is also a promising outlook for more nursing jobs opening up in this nursing career position because of the wide need for nurses to also be bilingual, on account of the fact that they interact with a diverse population in local communities.
The amount of money that a public health nurse can collect as a yearly salary is fair. On average, a public health nurse can stand to make about $51,000 per year, meaning this nursing specialty offers less compensation than other nursing specialties. Nonetheless, a significant number of public health nurses state that they find the reward in this line of work to come more from the satisfaction of interacting with and serving local communities rather than earning a lot of money. However, salaries in this nursing profession can vary depending on a lot of various factors like the location of the job, the type of degree the public health nurse holds, and the number of years of experience that the nurse has.
What to Expect
Public health nursing is a type of nursing specialty that takes nurses out of their usual setting of a hospital and drops them into the local community to really interact with people in an area. They do this by way of working in public health clinics that tend to serve more disadvantaged people, as well as by working in public health agencies to try to devise health education campaigns. The job outlook for this nursing specialty is quite solid, with nurses always being in demand, especially in communities that are of a lower-income nature than others. People who want to become public health nurses have to undergo special training to familiarize themselves with the demands of this line of work. While pay is not as much as other nursing specialties, the work is satisfying.
To understand more about public health nursing, go to these links:
- What is Public Health Nursing?
- APHA Website
- Public Health Defined
- Public Health in the Northwest
- Public Health Explained
- Public Health in the Virtual Library