How to transfer into public health field?

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    I am in my second semester of a Grad Diploma of Public Health (which should lead into a research masters), doing really well, loving it. Currently working as an OR RN. I really want to transition to working in PH, as it's a much better fit for me.

    How did you get your start? I don't really care about pay rate...I want something I feel passionate about, and something that has more family friendly hours would be awesome. Ideas?
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Hi OwlyRN, I have been a PHN my entire nursing career (with a short stint in OB/Gyn) and my advice is just apply. I myself started in a county run methadone clinic as a new grad, that closed so they offered me a position in maternal child health, that led to STD clinic/immunizations, and so on. It sounds like you will be headed toward program management with your education but nothing wrong with learning what us underlings do! Typically I think what is important is enthusiasm and being self driven as normally we don't have anyone telling us what to do (at least I never have had). Just emphasize that you want to educate and impact the public and you'll do great! And you've already highlighted that money doesn't matter which is good because PH is not lucrative; but it is generally fulfilling and not all that stressful. Good luck!
  4. 0
    Thanks goatmom! I'm not seeing much going where we are right now, and I'm considering trying to set up my own internship, just to get my foot in the door/get to network a bit plus add some experience. I really appreciate your support and enthusiasm. :-)

    Would doing the seasonal immunization type jobs be a plus?
  5. 0
    I think doing seasonal immunizations would be a big plus; immunizing is part of PH and it would be a great experience and look good on your resume. And do pursue that internship, your on the right track. Alot of folks are retiring now, at least where I'm at, and you will be the first one they think of when there is an opening. Feel free to PM me if you ever have any questions, Good luck!
  6. 0
    Thanks a bunch. I am keeping an eye out every day for opportunities, and need to start networking. I appreciate the encouragement.
  7. 0
    I am in the EXACT same situation. I grad in 2009 and have been an OR nurse since then, but my passion is public health! I actually just completed my masters in public health and was hired in my local public health department. I applied several times in the past but the pay was always too low compared to the hospital. However, another county recently contacted me and the pay is "ok." I actually start on Aug 27! Sooo excited!
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    Yay!!! I am so encouraged to know that it's possible, given that the skill mix is so different. :-) What kind of position did you get? I have to admit I am a teeny bit jealous. :-D There are no positions here to even apply for, and I check our county and all the neighboring counties up to an hours' drive away every week. :-/
  9. 0
    Believe me - this job is heaven sent! because I have been trying to get into public health since I graduated in 2009. My position is called RN Public Health II. I will be working in the clinics 8a-5p; no nights or weekends; holidays off! This will definitely be a change from the hours of the OR, but I am grateful nonetheless!

    I was actually surprised that they chose me over the other candidates because I only had OR experience, but I made sure that I let them know that my passion is public health. And I could tell that I was a shoe-in during the interview because of their expressions and responses to why I want to work in public health. I also had about 8 months experience working for a pediatric home health agency as a Case Manager RN, which also gave me a leg-up because they wanted someone with supervisory experience; plus, home health is a division of public health. I worked with this job because I needed to use it as my internship for school for my masters.

    Which county/state are you in?
  10. 0
    Believe me - this job is heaven sent! because I have been trying to get into public health since I graduated in 2009. My position is called RN Public Health II. I will be working in the clinics 8a-5p; no nights or weekends; holidays off! This will definitely be a change from the hours of the OR, but I am grateful nonetheless!<br><br>I was actually surprised that they chose me over the other candidates because I only had OR experience, but I made sure that I let them know that my passion is public health. And I could tell that I was a shoe-in during the interview because of their expressions and responses to why I want to work in public health. I also had about 8 months experience working for a pediatric home health agency as a Case Manager RN, which also gave me a leg-up because they wanted someone with supervisory experience; plus, home health is a division of public health. I worked with this job because I needed to use it as my internship for school for my masters. <br><br>Which county/state are you in?
  11. 0
    Quote from cc_RN
    Believe me - this job is heaven sent! because I have been trying to get into public health since I graduated in 2009. My position is called RN Public Health II. I will be working in the clinics 8a-5p; no nights or weekends; holidays off! This will definitely be a change from the hours of the OR, but I am grateful nonetheless!

    I was actually surprised that they chose me over the other candidates because I only had OR experience, but I made sure that I let them know that my passion is public health. And I could tell that I was a shoe-in during the interview because of their expressions and responses to why I want to work in public health. I also had about 8 months experience working for a pediatric home health agency as a Case Manager RN, which also gave me a leg-up because they wanted someone with supervisory experience; plus, home health is a division of public health. I worked with this job because I needed to use it as my internship for school for my masters.

    Which county/state are you in?
    I am a fresh graduate BSN, RN from Malaysia and currently working with a general manager in a private institution to set up a new nursing home in another big city. It's only my second month into the job and certainly this job is so different from floor nursing and I like the skill mix. However it is, my real passion is still in public health and I want to get into public health nursing as soon as I can. My boyfriend from CA works with APHA and WHO and has a master in public health. When I hear him speak of his job, I thought, it's just the kind of job for me so I have been looking everywhere to get more info. I received a certificate for public health introductory course from North Carolina. Do you think this help me in getting a public health nurse job in US as a RN, Malaysia. I had applied several hospitals for floor nursing in Australia but three already declined. It was disappointing...


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