February 25, 2021

What is a Public Health Nurse and What are Some of Their Areas of Responsibility?

Public health nurses comprise the largest professional segment of the workplace in public health and are involved in the prevention, education, advocacy, activism, assessment, and evaluation of Public Health. They hold a vital role in the prevention of disease and help to promote community health and safety. For students already in a nursing program or who are already a practicing nurse, public health nursing offers a variety of opportunities to make significant changes in public health. While most nurses care for one patient at a time, public health nurses care for entire populations. The ability to work with whole communities allows public health nurses to help in educating the community about health issues to improve their health and safety and facilitate access to care.

What are Some of the Responsibilities of a Public Health Nurse?

  • Assessing health trends to identify health risk factors specific to communities
  • Assigning priorities for health-related interventions in order to provide the greatest benefit
  • Advocacy with local, state and federal authorities in improving the access to health services in underserved communities
  • Design and implement health education campaigns and activities for disease prevention
  • Provide information on local health programs and services that are available to improve access to care
  • Providing direct health care services to at-risk populations

What are Some of the Areas of Employment for Nurses in Public health

Public health nurses are employed in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, community health centers and other organizations improving health at a community level. They may work alone or on multidisciplinary teams, and they often supervise other health care and lay personnel. In addition to working with communities, they work behind the scenes planning activities, managing budgets and evaluating the effectiveness of public health programs.

What is the Job Outlook and Salary Range for a Public Health Nurse?

There is a growing demand for public health nurses, particularly in those low-income communities that are medically underserved. Many government agencies have recognized the benefits of preventive and health education services provided by public health nurses in attempting to reduce overall health care costs. Because they often serve a diverse population, Bilingual nurses that are fluent in both Spanish and English are in desperate needed. The average annual salary for a public health nurse is $51,000 however; salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience, and benefits. Salaries also vary greatly depending on job location, educational level, and requirements.

To work as a Public Health Nurse what Graduate Degree should I pursue

To work as a nurse in Public health a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN) or a Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) is strongly advised. Public health nurses pursuing an MPH also may choose to pursue a specialization in public health, such as epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as environmental health.

Public health nurses are individuals who are highly dedicated to working to improve their community’s health and access to care. They must be able to work well with large groups and to be sensitive to cultural differences.