What got you your public health job?

  1. I know A LOT of the threads are about switching fields, this one is too...but if you have a job in public health, what do you think was the deciding factor to the people interviewing you? Was it your experience, your witty banter, your resume, or any other unexplainable factor? There is a position near my location I am interested in that was only on the county website (not on major search engines) and my investigative email to the director said there was a lot of resumes sent. What would set anyone above the crowd if I have no public health experience? Recent experience in dialysis, chronic diseases, med surg, ex teacher and manager. Thanks guys, I know you are all a good lot!!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   SiwanRN
    For my first position in public health, it was probably the part where I had completed a student nurse internship with the county health department near my university and had done some volunteer work with them. I was already a familiar face, they knew me, and that I was passionate about public health. My second position was certainly helped along by my experience from my first position (which was less than a year), but solid answers to interview questions and a projection of confidence helped.

    There's been some turnover since I've been at my second (current) position, and not all the nurses we have hired have necessarily had public health experience. Most of them didn't. From what I understand, they highlighted how their previous experiences on their resumes were applicable to public or population health. Public health is all about education and prevention, so highlighting how you provided education to your chronic disease patients about their conditions, health maintenance and promotion, evidence-based practice, nutrition, etc will help. Show a working knowledge of your local resources or how you helped your chronic disease patients get connected with those (where are your local food pantries? Homeless shelters? Local organizations that work with your population of chronic disease patients?) Join your local public health association. There is a chapter for every state under the American Public Health Association, and some states also have public health nurse associations too.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Sunmoonstars
    Hi- I think it was my passion and interview that helped me. I applied to PH years prior with 8 years acute care and I looked good on paper, but maybe didn't shine in the interview. Didn't get the job. Several years later, I went back. I had to answer scenario questions. By then I was more mature as a nurse and also a mom (for a maternal child position), so I think I was a good fit based on my honest enthusiasm and transferable skills. I think your personality means a lot. Are you non judgmental? Do you feel passionate about prevention? Does PH excite you? Are you motivated to work with a certain population? Keep applying and don't give up if you think this is your place. I have finally found my dream nursing job. Good luck!
  5. by   persimmonRN
    Atypical work experience from your standard nurse. While I have a strong background in critical care, I also had almost a decade worth of grassroots community work in a volunteer health organization and also work exprience in a partnering community health organization. I'm a weirdo compared to other nurses with a very different background which isn't typical of PHN nurses at all. That made me stand out and I also come off as professional, friendly and down-to-earth. Being able to build partnerships and collaborate is 90% of my job, so someone extremely shy or not outgoing enough would not be a good fit.
  6. by   misslucky
    I just transferred from acute care (ER) to Public Health in February, and I'm loving it. My supervisor told me last week that it was my passion and excitement about the field that got me the job. They wanted someone who cared about disease prevention, improving the lives of the people in the community, and who had ideas for how to do that.

    I would say that knowing WHY you want to be in Public Health and showing that passion is key to making an impression on the interviewers.
  7. by   frances81
    I just started a PHN position in a small town. Looooving it! I think what helped me was:
    -my perinatal and breastfeeding post-grad specialty online courses is taken
    - my excitement and desire to work in PH
    -my non-judgemental nature
    -how I stressed preventative and primary care in my interview answers
    -my willingness to move to a tiny town
    My main suggestions: take courses, especially in neonatal and breastfeeding, immunization, CDC, and sexual health. And apply to remote areas.
    I just started and I've finally found my niche. I'll never go back to bedside. I'm so excited to have a relaxed, regular schedule, relaxed coworkers and managers, and being encouraged to take time during work to learn and focus on education.
    Good lick
  8. by   frances81
    Oops. Sorry about the typos. Good luck! Lol

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