I would like to inquire about aspiring to be a public/community health nurse in Ontario. Is this a specialty that a new grad can get into right out of school or does it require experience somewhere else? Are there certain things that one should do in terms of schooling, volunteer work, or credentials that would maximize one's chances of getting an offer for a position as a public/community health nurse?
Thank you for your attention to my queries.
As Jane has stated there are different areas within community/public health. As a visiting nurse (considered community) you have a good chance to obtain employment as a new graduate. Positions within public health, community health centres, case management etc typically require at the very minimum 1 year experience as an RN (Hospital/LTC etc). I have worked within the community while a nursing student in the office setting, developed great relationships with the nurse managers and HR but was still told that I would need 1 year of RN experience as strong assessment and facilitation skills are required. A friend of mine aspires to be a Public health nurse and had her consolidation at Toronto Public Health and was told the same thing, she would need 1 year RN experience. It's extremely tough to crack as a new grad. Not saying it's impossible.
Just saw your recent reply: Looks like your describing the side that I thought and they usually require experience (1 year min. as stated). Many public health and community health centres need volunteers so I would definitely volunteer if you are able to. As far as credentials go - you could look at employment listings to see the qualifications of positions you're interested in. Positions usually require a BScN and experience. For management a masters. For a specific area it is usually stated a certificate in the area is preferred (Certified geriatric nurse, certified diabetes educator etc..) and experience with the specific population.
Last edit by RiRi03 on Aug 15, '12
: Reason: added