Would you like to know about the jobs available to nurses interested in working in public health? If you want to be involved in improving community health and safety as a nursing professional, it is important to learn about the different titles that you can hold. Public health nurses as a whole will be responsible for caring for an entire population of people by monitoring health trends and identifying the factors that are common within the community.
While all public health nurses work to improve the availability of services to members of communities where access to health is low, not all nurses have the same roles and responsibilities. Where you work, whom you report to, and how much you earn will depend on what your title is in the public health sector. Read on, and find out about some of the titles that you can hold working as a Registered Nurse in public health.
Advanced Nurse Practitioners to Reduce the Workload on Physicians
Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP) are becoming much more popular in settings where the demand for services are high. As a licensed ANP, you will be qualified to diagnose patients, treat patients for their conditions and write prescriptions without having to report to a physician in most states. You will typically work with patients who have minor illnesses or injuries and must use your expertise to provide the patient with guidance so that they can recover from their ailment. When you work in public health, you may also refer your patients to specialists for treatment of more serious problems.
Nurse Consultant for Training and Auditing
If you do not want to work in a clinical setting or on the front lines with patients, you may want to consider becoming a nursing consultant in Public Health. Your responsibility will be to be an expert in Informatics, Child Health, Reproductive Health, Women’s Health, Nursing Practice and Public Health so that you can train public health nursing teams, evaluate current programs, perform audits, and act as an adviser in work groups when new policies are being developed to target specific issues in the community.
Infection Control Nurse to Prevent Outbreaks
When a public health physician diagnoses an infectious disease, it is important that policies are followed to prevent the spread of the disease. Physicians with an Infectious Disease certification know the policies and practices they should follow to make sure the patient gets care while keeping everyone safe. This physician needs a nurse who also specializes in infectious control practices to assist them. To work in this setting, you will need to know how to monitor and implement infection control programs.
There is currently a shortage of nurses in the US and this shortage is only projected to grow as Baby Boomers age and require more health care. If you would like to work in a sector where the supply is much smaller than the demand, public health is the sector to be in. You can choose from general public health nursing positions, or more specialized positions where you will work behind-the-scenes rather than with patients. Make sure that you are familiar with the paths that you can take in your city, state, or region, and research the jobs available to nurses interested in working in public health.
For additional information on becoming a public health nurse, please see: How Do I Become a Public Health Nurse?