As a public health nurse, you can expect for your responsibilities to extend far beyond providing medical help to people in need. Your duties may also include presenting seminars to the public to encourage healthier living and to educate them about illnesses like AIDS or cancer. Maybe you have always wondered, “How do I become a public nurse?” If so, then you are probably someone who enjoys the thought of contributing to the well-being of society. You should also have the ability to feel compassion for people who are struggling as a public health nurse.
What’s it like to be a public health nurse?
As a public health nurse, you will have the responsibility of taking care of members of the local community. You may run an analysis to find out which illnesses have targeted your local community. A public health nurse has the ability to watch trends in the local community and promote better health. He or she may notice the factors that contribute to certain illnesses of community members, such as local pollution. To become a public health nurse, you should feel comfortable in advocating for your local community. You may need to request funding for additional health programs in your hospital.
The road to becoming a public health nurse can be quite competitive. If you want to become a public health nurse, you will need to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. You will likely have to apply for a nursing program after the completion of one or two years of college. There are usually only a limited number of spots available for people who wish to pursue a nursing degree. Also, an admissions committee will look at your grade point average and community involvement to decide whether to admit you to a nursing program.
Before you apply for a nursing program, it can be helpful to shadow a public health nurse for a day or two. You can gain real insight into the techniques that nurses use to care for members of underprivileged communities. You can also gain a sense of how nurses relate to individuals who may be struggling with an illness like cancer. You will also gain a deeper appreciation for the work that nurses contribute in putting together presentations for the local community.
Salary & How to Get a Job
The typical salary of a public health nurse is about $65,000 a year. The BLS expects that the demand for public health nurses will increase by about 26 percent in the next ten years. To obtain a position as a public health nurse, you can ask the local hospital’s human resources department whether any open positions are available. You can also look through job posting websites to find out whether a particular hospital is hiring public health nurses in your area.
There are many different types of nurses that serve the public. If there is a particular aspect of health care that interests you, you can probably find a job as a public health nurse within that field. For example, there are individuals who only treat children and are public health nurses. There are individuals who work only with obese people and help them adhere to a medical weight loss program. To become a public health nurse, you should feel comfortable in working with diverse groups of people and individuals who suffer from traumatic illnesses.
When you become a public health nurse, you will gain the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping your local community. You are helping individuals in your local community achieve better levels of health through direct care and education.