Public Health Nursing

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    I have just finished my Master's in Public Health (Health Promotion and Disease Prevention). I have a little over 2 years experience in floor nursing on med-tele and step-down units. My goal is to work with the public doing health and wellness education (screenings and what not) I have applied to some department of health jobs, but they were all senior positions. Are there any other public health nurses out there, with some ideas on where else I can look? I am very interested in sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention. I have looked at jobs with Planned Parenthood as well but they didn't work out either!

    Also, anyone here take the CHES exam????
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I don't have any advice but congratulations on your degree!
    sara_rn likes this.
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    Because of the limited positions in Public Health it can sometimes be very difficult to get a foot in the door. In my case it was timing, opportunity and luck, which got me into my current position. I was doing clinicals for my BSN when the PH nurse found out her husband received orders to transfer out of state. I was hired after my clinicals ended to take over her position. You might try networking with the health departments in your area, volunteer for some of their events, and find a foothold that way. I've become a great believer in networking and getting to know people who are in the field you want to be in.
    cc_RN likes this.
  6. 0
    Thanks...do you have hospital nursing experience? I can't decide if I need more or not?
  7. 0
    I got a public health nursing job with just a year and a half of hospital experience, and we have at least one PHN where I work who started as a new grad. Most PHN jobs will want you to have some hospital experience, but I think for most jobs 2 years should be plenty. Of course it will depend on the particular job, and may also vary somewhat from one area of the country to the next.

    When I was applying for PHN jobs I focused on departments of public health, since they are the main employers of PHNs in my area. I applied to every county DPH within a one hour drive of where I live, the state DPH, and a city DPH. Applied for about a year and was lucky enough to get a job with my own county's DPH.

    I've occasionally seen ads for non-government community health jobs that require or prefer a PHN. I would definitely try any HIV/AIDS clinics in your area.

    Not sure if that's helpful, but I wish you the best of luck!
  8. 0
    I had 9 months Acute Rehab experience before MY husband got orders for Korea and I had to resign (due to night shift and 3 kids at home). I immediately started back to school for my BSN, which in turn lead me to my current position. While I feel it is really important to have some hospital experience to draw from, I can honestly say that the skill set is entirely different.

    In my current position, I am responsible for CD reporting, immunizations, health education, STD testing, and basic health assessments along with multiple other planning projects like grant seeking and writing.

    Currently I am heading up our health departments National Accreditation project which is something new for this year. It's a really great learning opportunity. I enjoy PH so much more than I ever did hospital politics.

    Additionally you will find that health departments and agencies differ greatly in the services they are able to provide. I'm in a pretty small rural department with me and a nursing supervisor. However, one county over, the HD is attached to a hospital and runs a entire health clinic for the uninsured. They have physicians and NP's along with great access to medical equipment and services like x-rays, etc.

    Good luck and be persistant, I think it's worth it.
  9. 0
    Anaris,
    my name is tom. I am a LVN going to school for BSN. I would like to interview you as a public nurse. I am interested in going into public nursing. Please hit me back so I may ask you some questions (Interview). I am not selling anything this is just an interview for school project.

    Please!!! squeekymc@yahool.com
  10. 0
    squeekymc,

    Feel free to PM me if you need more information. I will respond to your interview thread.
  11. 0
    Thank you Anaris! Here are some questions I thought I could start with. If there is anything else you would like to add...feel free!!

    1. WHY DID/ WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE PUBLIC HEALTH NURSING?

    2. WHAT AREA OF PUBLIC NURSING DO YOU WORK?

    3. DID/DOES AN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL BACKGROUND HELP WITH YOUR WORK?

    4. DO YOU GO OUT INTO THE FIELD OR DO YOU WORK IN AN OFFICE?

    5. DO YOU LIKE YOUR JOB?

    6. WHERE DO YOU WORK?

    7. JOB TITLE?

    8. WHAT DO YOU SPEND MOST OF YOUR DAY DOING?

    9. DO YOU USE THE SKILLS YOU LEARNED IN NURSING SCHOOL AT YOUR CURRENT JOB?

    Thank you for your time!! and if possible, please tell me anything else you think would be fun/relevant for a future public health nurse.


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