I found my dream job in Public Health :) - page 2
Hello Allnurses, It feels like only yesterday I was taking pre-reqs for nursing school and then going crazy trying to get through nursing school and pass state boards. Well, I learned really fast that nursing isn't anything... Read More
- 2May 19, '11 by BrewerRNI am right there with you, OP. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my public health job. It took me 14 years of nursing to finally find my dream job, but I did. I really feel like I was lead here by God as well. I was never happy in any position I had before, but I know that all of my RN positions prior to this, prepared my for the job I have now. I really feel like I make a difference. I can follow my kiddies from birth through age 5. I am in the home and become a part of the family. I get hugs and smiles. It's the BEST nursing job I have EVER had!!!
- 1May 20, '11 by lrlatI too am considering Public Health. A friend of mine stumbled upon the perfect job for me, and the DAY I graduate, I will go in search for it. ...working for the County Epidemiologist. Micro was my "thing". I believe God has lead me thus far...every step of the way. It would take entirely too long to explain all the ways he has been by my side. Good Luck
- 5Nov 19, '11 by RNinTheCityI think it's great that all of you have found something to believe in (aka god), to help you through your journey of life, including your nursing career. However, I have to say, it wasn't god who helped me. I'm an atheist. I believe I've had the power and drive to push myself through nursing school and all of life's troubles, with the support of wonderful family, friends, and a massive amount of dedication. I didn't get any of my jobs from praying. Kudo's to you if god is in your life. He/she/it seems to give people a lot of faith.
Anyways, on to the subject of public health. I'm actually a pediatric nurse, 2 years in the hospital, and 3 years in home care. I was a sexuality peer educator in my teen years as a part of a teen center. From that experience, I've always held the idea in the back of my mind, that I enjoyed that particular experience in my life, and promoting STI/HIV prevention, as well as unplanned pregnancy prevention. I currently volunteer as an HIV tester at a local HIV center. I also volunteer with Planned Parenthood. I feel so happy when I can educate others on the risks of unprotected sex, and reproductive health, as well as informing them of how to protect themselves. I have experienced that people are truly grateful for the accurate information that I've given them, as well as demystifying information that they have heard from their peers on the subject matter. It feels great to be appreciated! I've found that not only is it teens who need this type of education, but there are PLENTY of adults who lack basic knowledge of reproductive health.
Volunteering in these types of environments has made me realize that I indeed know public health is my niche. I'm going back to grad school soon for my MSN/MPH dual degree. I really think it will help that not only am I a nurse, but a nurse with an MPH degree too. Many of the public health jobs in NYC for public health actually require a masters degree. You're even more marketable if you speak another language, (so I need to brush up on my Spanish!).
The pay in public health is not as high as it is working in the hospital. In New York, you can get up to $70,000-$80,000 working in a hospital, most likely starting on night shift (which I found absolutely miserable), and working with other people who don't necessarily love their job, and they make it VERY noticeable. It's also very competitive, in the hospital. Some nurses don't have a problem telling little lies to managers, in order to make other nurses look bad.
By volunteering, and meeting other people who work in the filed of public health, I have met so many positive people who love their jobs and what they are doing. They have only brushed positive energy towards me and I love it. I love meeting with clients and patients who are looking for a safe haven and who are thankful for education. I'm 100% willing to take the trade off of high pay, for doing something I love. Those in the public health field in NYC can make about $40,000 to $60,000 (if you are lucky!), and that's enough for me (thankfully I don't have anyone to take care of but myself so it makes it a bit easier on me!).
I cannot wait to go to grad school, and eventually get my dream job in reproductive and sexuality health education in the biggest city in America! Until then, I will continue to work in pediatric home care (which I love too), volunteer my time, as well as study. It's a rewarding journey that I look forward to.
Good luck to everyone else!
- 2Nov 20, '11 by MandaRN94RNintheCITY -excellent post! I feel like I could have written it. I work for Planned Parenthood and am currently in grad school for my MSN. I also love reproductive health and public health (also am an athesist). It's unfortunately true that public health nurses make less than hospital nurses but the job satisfaction more than makes up for the salary. Good luck in your journey and it's always great to hear from another nurse who believes in the "mission".
- 1Nov 22, '11 by wife&mommyRNI'm currently still working @ my dream job I couldn't be more blessed. I am not going to get into a religious debate, but for ME. It isn't by chance, self help, or by luck that I have had such success in this field and the many blessings and struggles throughout life. I give it all to faith in God. I graduated in May 2010, I was offered a job on postpartum in March of 2010 (in addition to 3 other offers for M/S) two months before graduation. I started off on midnights, but I NEVER WORKED ANY WEEKENDS while working on the floor full-time. I found that floor nursing wasn't fitting well with my lifestyle (wife, mom, servant of the Lord). Through prayer and fasting I came across my current position. I'm the 1st nurse they've hired in 5 years (hiring freeze). PHN is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. Last week we did an event @ the homeless shelter You take a pay cut, but you earn it back pretty quickly and you get tons of time off due to federal holidays, comp time, sick time, floating holidays (which are all paid), but you are required to take dock days which are unpaid, but there is always OT offered so you could make up for that as I usually do. In my hospital if census was low nurses would be cancelled (which means loosing money/ vacation time). No matter how slow/ busy you are they will never mandate that a nurse goes home. I never have any problems getting time off, I've been there 7 months and I haven't had to call off. There is team work and unity, something I didn't experience working on the floor. I feel like I have the career I went to school for, working on the floor I felt I had no purpose no respected role ( I was nurse, babysitter, housekeeper, manager, unit clerk). Not enough pay to continue to play ALL those roles, now I'm a Nurse PHN isn't for everyone, but for me it is well worth it and there is longevity. Its about the job, not the money thats why I have alot of respect for PHN because its about the service to your community. You'll love it, I will be praying for you both
- 0Nov 22, '11 by RNinTheCity-MandaRN94 It's great to hear there is somebody on this board that shares the same type of thoughts as I do! I thought I may have been reprimanded, so your post was a surprise, not what I expected! That is great that you work at Planned Parenthood. It's come to be such a great organization that helps so many people. Hopefully one day I can work for their education department. That would be simply amazing and I know I would love it. For the time being, I'll keep volunteering with them. I am a BIG supporter!!
wife&mommyRN- That's great that you get support from your belief system. If it makes you a happy, positive, good person... then fantastic. I just saw so many posts about god, that I thought it would be appropriate that I stated what I believe in and what has helped me, even if it isn't god.
Good luck to everyone pursuing public health careers!