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!
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   anewsns
    Just browsing and curious what happened with you after this thread . Did you make the transition ?
  4. by   MBARNBSN
    OP: I would like to know what happened to you too!

    Personally, I think you can transition if you write a resume that focuses on your former life in Public Health and your RN life. Not all Public Health RNs are those who entered right after graduation. Also, depending on your state, it may be important to receive your Public Health Cert prior to applying.

    In addition, a PhD in Nursing with an emphasis in Health Policy? Nice! I cannot see why you would not be a good candidate. There are not many PhDs in Public Health, but those who have PhDs usually run programs. Get a job now, if you have not already done so. Therefore, when you graduate you can move up in Public Health. GL!

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