Barring public health emergencies, there are no overnights, no weekends, no 12 hour shifts. Bank hours drive some people batty but they work fine for me. The benefits I get working in a public health department (county level) are far better than anything my hospital nursing friends get. It could just be my health department, but the place I work for really values professional development and staff education and pays for my attendance at several conferences. I am encouraged to do studies and present this work at conferences.
That's just the workplace, though. I really value getting to do a good deal of patient education within the clinic setting and helping people in need connect with local resources to meet their needs. Empowering young people to understand how their bodies work, normalize sexuality in a positive way, and to take charge of their health is really rewarding. I also appreciate getting to go out and engage with my community by participating in community partnerships by bringing a nursing perspective to things like safe schools
, poverty reduction programs, engaging at-risk youth, affordable housing, sex worker outreach partnerships, and most recently sexual assault prevention at a local college. Part of my position is also working with social media to do health education and promotion, so that's a fun adventure where I get to combine my theatre background with nursing skills by writing scripts and filming short videos on educational topics. I use the same skills in developing community presentations for the outreach work I do that either promotes health department programs or educates an audience on a topic, generally sexual health related because I work in family planning primarily.
I love the variety in my work. I can't imagine a position outside of public health where I would get to do all these cool things and get paid for it.