Any RNs involved in community health education/promotion/prevention?

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    I am an RN currently applying to study for a masters in Public Health. If I am accepted and succeed, I would like to work in the community promoting health via health education/prevention and public health initiatives. Does anyone have any experience of this? I'm interested in the type of work that may be available for an RN with a MPH.
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    Our health educators are not RN's, but I think it would be very helpful. They do a ton of community work- Lamaze, CPR (for community and staff), tobacco education (in conjunction with our tobacco prevention person), healthy diet and living...
    regularRN likes this.
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    Thanks Aneroo - what kind of qualifications do they have?
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    I have a ADN in nursing but am not a RN yet. I did just pass the PN exam. I am also a Certified Health Education Specialist with a Master's in Health Education. I think my varied experiences and education puts me a cut above educators who are not nurses. Nurses bring a different aspect to health education that a Health Educator may miss such as how certain things can affect the body systems. Health Educators without clinical experience will not be able to relate. Conversely, health educators are taught a systematic approach to educating about health topics such as tobacco cessation and HIV. RNs are involved in Community Health and Prevention everyday with teaching. I see many RNs as educators on the West coast where I am but on the East coast I have seen many CHES (Certified Health Educators).
    MMARN likes this.
  7. 0
    I am an RN with BSN and am very interested in being a health educator, will I need an advanced degree and if so in what MSN, MPH?
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    Also, in areas such as Texas you need a CHW license or Promotoro/a license to be a community educator, but do not need to be an RN. In areas like California you need a high school diploma or equivlant and a health background to be a CHW but no qualification. To be a Disease Management RN you just need a RN license and it helps to have a background in chronic illnesses, no special qualifications there
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    I worked in Public Health for ten years. I believe the best use of your talents or education would be at the State level unless you work in a very large health department. You would probably be underutilized at the local level unless it was in a large juristiction. Great degree to have, good for you - thinking outside the box.
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    From what I see going on, I believe they are farming more and more health education out to health education specialists that have only a BA or BS degree, or even LPN's. They don't want to pay nursing salaries, and I think you risk taking a huge pay cut if you work as a health educator. However, that said, one good job, if you are into women's health, can be a lactation consultant in a hospital. You can serve the community well by educating young mothers about the advantages of breast feeding, especially in county hospitals where low income mothers go. It is not my thing, but I know a couple of lactation consultants who would not do anything else, they just LOVE their jobs. I truly believe the MPH degree is getting to be so ubiquitous, that for the time and money devoted to an advanced degree, you would be better served by going a more clinical route and getting an NP degree, or dual NP/MPH. If you don't want to do both, an NP degree with some masters courses in adult education can be a real plus. Good luck in your pursuits.
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    odinhoub2422:

    i would check into what the qualifications are for your area. i am a adn and i have worked public health, school nurse, and taught in a lpn program, and i am currently a staff educator. i think every area is different. we have a shortage of bsn and advanced degree nurses in my area, so these positions are open to adn's. check your area.
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    CampbellRN, interesting. I am used to living somewhere where there is a vast oversupply of MPH's and a very healthy supply of BSN's, thanks to the numerous nursing programs. What part of the country or which state are you in. (I am in Texas-many nursing schools here.)


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