Torn between 2 specialties..any way to combine both public health & neonatal nursing?


Hello! I am a student who is currently taking pre-reqs for nursing school and am really interested in 2 different specialties of nursing: neonatal and public health. Lately I have been doing research on both specialties to figure out which one is right for me or to see if it is possible to do both (neonatal nurse working in the community). I recently found out about programs (such as Nurse Family Partnership) where you could work as a public health nurse helping at-risk mothers throughout their pregnancy and helping them improve infant health after pregnancy. This is the closest thing that I've found to be a combination of my 2 interests but this seems to be more of a combination of OBGYN and public health than neonatal and public health. It does sound interesting to me but are there any careers or community programs out there that allow you to be a community/public health neonatal nurse? Being a neonatal nurse for low-income/underserved communities is what I would want to do! I live in the SF Bay area so reading some advice from nurses around the area would be helpful! :)

Thanks in advance to those who reply!

wish_me_luck, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,110 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

Health depts have Maternal and Child Health Divisions. It deals with lower income moms and getting them the resources they need (such as transportation, healthy nutrition, screenings and pre natal vitamins, substance abuse help, etc.) and educating them on various services and how to take care of their baby/child.


238 Posts

Specializes in peds palliative care and hospice.

See if any HHAs near you have a parent child health program. They see a combo of new moms (at risk or not) with wounds, young moms, ect and kids that need nursing care (lots of hem-onc,but other stuff too). I know a place near me that has such a program.

Specializes in MedSurg, PACU, Maternal/Child Health. Has 11 years experience.

Definitely check out the Nurse Family Partnership. It is a national program that exists in mosts states. Google it to learn more about the program as well as look on and to find any postings for agencies contracted to work in this program. Usually they require you have some experience working with mothers and babies.


185 Posts

Specializes in OB/GYN,PHN, Family Planning. Has 20 years experience.

I worked for my county public health dept and did home visits to high risk maternal/child pts. I basically did follow up for preemies, FTT kids, and LOTS of education for the parents.