Making the switch to Public Health?

  1. Hey all, so I am psych NP, have been for five years. All of my nursing experience has been in psych, even when I was an RN, however I used to work as a public health research assistant in maternal child health in another life. I really enjoy psych as a field (obviously) but I've now been nursing full-time for 8 years, nearly all of them spent with seriously mentally ill and homeless patients in very demanding, poorly funded and poorly staffed community programs and I'm feeling the burn, so to speak. I need to step back from direct patient care before I start to hate it, because right now I'm just really worn down by it-and this is with me using very well developed work related coping skills and setting very clear boundaries with patients, coworkers and supervisors. And I loved my short time in public health as well, I really enjoyed discussing and addressing health access issues, barriers and whatnot on a systems wide level. I loved the education component too and would like to be engage in health education and promotion in an official capacity, as opposed to whatever I can squeeze in with my patients during our appointments.

    Which leads me to this obvious statement, I'm thinking about trying to move into public health nursing. What can I do to make myself better prepared to attempt this switch? My resume isn't terrible, but I haven't worked in public health in any capacity in 10 years and that's a long time. And I've never worked in it as a nurse, outside of my community health rotation where I selected a public health department-but I was just a little baby student back then. Can I do anything to boost my skills? If so, what do you all recommend? Of note, I am also currently plodding through Phd coursework, it's a Phd in health policy but it is through a college of nursing, so really it's a Phd in Nursing, emphasis health policy, but it is not a clinical degree and doesn't provide me any additional clinical experience.

    Any advice? Thanks in advance!