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Transition from Gen Surg RN to Public Health RN?

by poopyhair poopyhair (New) New

Hi all! :)

I am currently a RN working at a gen surg unit in BC Canada, and I recently got interested in public health nursing.

When I researched about public health nursing, it seems like I would need at least 1-2 years of public/community health nursing, maternity or pediatric nursing experience in order to be a qualified applicant to public health nursing.

I do not have public health nursing experience except for a term in my nursing school, and to gain experience in maternity/pediatric nursing, I would need to take specialty courses before working in these areas.

It seems like it would take quite a time/effort to transit into public health nursing from hospital nursing.

Is there any other way that I could step myself into public health nursing? I would greatly appreciate any answers/tips!!!!!!

Thank you so much in advance!!!!


MedSurgRN193, BSN, RN

Specializes in Registered Nurse. Has 2 years experience.

I'm in the same position as you - RN working in BC, have been in med/surg for just over a year now, and only have a semester of public health experience from nursing school. I've talked to several different people, including the manager of a public health unit, and have basically heard the same as you. Either a masters in Public Health is needed, prior public health experience or at least a year of maternity or pediatric experience. Personally, I chose the route that had the least obstacles/expenses, which is taking a couple of perinatal specialty courses. My plan is to work in maternity for a year or so, and then apply to public health.

However, I am still keeping my eyes open for public health nurse postings, and trying to network wherever I can! You never know, sometimes people get lucky and land their dream job without following the "required" steps.

Good luck to you! :)