Hi. I am very interested in public health nursing. I am an experienced RN with a PHN certificate, but my professional experience is acute care/hospital nursing. If I go into Public Health, it will be a massive pay cut for me (close to 50% of my current hourly wage). I notice the PHN 1 (entry level) has a scale/range posted for the wage at this level. My question is: Do they automatically start you at the bottom of the pay scale for any entry level position? Or would they possibly negotiate the pay range based on experience? The reason I ask is that the pay wage is so low, I am not sure if I can afford to start at the very lowest level. I am the sole breadwinner for a family of four, and we live in an expensive area. Thanks for any insights. I would love to enter the field, and am willing to increase my hours & take a BIG paycut, but I do have a family to support on this.
Jan 17, '13
I was hired as "new" PHN as a PHN II since I had RN experience. I worked 10 years in L&D and another 5 years in a family planning clinic. I ended leaving the PHN job and taking a management job at the family planning clinic (I worked part time at both jobs). I worked for the county and the nurses had to take 6% pay cuts for 2 years in a row. I liked the PHN job but couldn't afford to keep the job as a single mom.
Jan 18, '13
I'm a PHN who has worked at a few local health departments. I'm sure hiring practices and salary negotiations vary by organization. I did have some experience participating in the hiring process of some RNs, and I know the salaries b/c public salaries are published for everyone to see (& I peeked)! There were RNs brought in at the top of the salary range at some health depts. without a public health nursing background (but with a great deal of nursing experience). Nursing experience in any field is pertinent. Good luck, and welcome to public health nursing!
Jan 18, '13
Thank you. I applied to the position, and am keeping fingers crossed. There are several areas of nursing that interest me, but I think Public Health is the one area that interests me the most.
Jan 18, '13
I didn't have any experience and I got the maximum allowed for an RN for the first year whether with 10 years experience or none. I would've asked for the maximum anyway knowing I won't be getting a raise so this way I can be happy for years.