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Can You Become A Nurse With A Public Health Degree

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What Factors Affect The Salary Of A Public Health Nurse

What Can You Do with Public Health Degree

Health care is among the fastest-growing industries in the economy. In the job market, the health care sector continues to rise in employment rates due to the high demand for healthcare services. The increased demand has led to increased salaries paid to health professionals, especially public health nurses. The level of wages earned by public health nurses depends on the specialty of the registered nurse. For instance, a home health nurse earns a relatively lower salary than a nurse anesthetist. There are several other contributing factors such as:

  • Job Location

The average wage for public health nurses varies based on the location of employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, states such as California, Washington, New York, and Massachusetts pay employees in public health nursing higher salaries than those in other states. Public health nurses are likely to land jobs more quickly within the listed states due to the high demand for their services.

  • Size of the Organization

The organizations size has always been a contributing factor to employee salaries in almost all professional fields. Large health care facilities tend to pay public health nurses higher wages than the relatively smaller facilities. This is because larger hospitals receive a higher number of patients daily, leading to higher incomes.

  • Work Experience
  • Level of Education

Earn A Bachelor Of Science In Nursing Degree

The first step to becoming a public health nurse is to complete a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from a nursing program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education . You can become a nurse through either an associateâs or bachelorâs program, however, a BSN is required to earn public health certification. Coursework should include anatomy and physiology, biology, nutrition, biomedical statistics and chemistry. Be sure to review different bachelor’s degree programs and their course offerings to determine the best option for you.

Evaluate Your Career Goals

To better understand how a degree in public health can help you reach your goals, you should first understand what those goals are. If you are looking for a stable career with opportunities for growth, earning a public health degree could be right for you.

A bachelors in public health can open up many career opportunities. For example, if you already have an associates degree and are looking for upward mobility, a bachelors can help you get promoted. Or, if you aspire to certain advanced job titles, a bachelors degree can prepare you to earn an MPH which is, as noted above, often required for more senior level positions.

According to Dr. Richard Pulice, professor for Regiss public health programs, the field of public health also offers a favorable job outlook for graduates.

My experience is that most students are able to find that first job in public health fairly quickly after graduating. And, if youre preparing for grad school, the bachelors degree gives you a leg up in that preparation, Pulice says.

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What Are The Education Requirements For A Public Health Nurse

Those interested in the specialty of public health nursing should first pursue a nursing degree through a two or four-year university. Obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing is a requirement. However, BSN degrees are recommended for entry-level public health nursing.

Upon completion of an accredited nursing program, graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN in order to be eligible for licensure.

Master’s of Science in Nursing , Doctor of Nursing Practice , and Doctor of Philosophy nurses can advance their public health nursing practice to include leadership roles and research. For example, those involved in research can identify health and disease trends, patterns, and study outbreaks to find ways to improve the health of a community.

Consider the following options:

How Long Is Nursing School

Can I Become A Nurse With A Degree In Public Health ...

The length of nursing school depends on the degree you choose. For example, an ADN is typically considered a two-year degree, while a BSN usually takes four years.

Different positions require different levels of nursing education. Ultimately, the type of degree you need to become a nurse depends, in part, on the kind of nurse you want to be.

Fortunately, there is a range of options: from the bedside to the boardroom, hospitals to hospices, schools to specialty niches, and opportunities in between.

Some types of nurses and their required level of education include:

  • Surgical Assistant Registered Nurse, ADN, BSN preferred
  • Nurse Case Manager, BSN
  • Critical Care Registered Nurse, BSN
  • Nurse Practitioner, MSN
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN

The key is to identify your personal career goals and aspirations and then build on your credentials and experiences along the way.

The number of terms your school offers each year, coupled with the number of courses you can take, can also adjust your timeline. If you have any transfer credits from an unencumbered RN license or previous college experiences, you may be able to finish faster if you attend a transfer-friendly school.

Can You Get Your RN License in 2 Years?

If you pursue an associate degree in nursing, that’s typically a two-year program that prepares you to sit for the NCLEX exam a requirement for licensed nurses. The timeline all depends on your pacing and the institution in which you begin your nursing education.

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Academic Requirements For Public Health Nursing

The academic requirements vary from state to state. Public but remain almost the same as other RNs. No special CEU is needed for public health nurses until they have acquired advanced certification.

Academic Requirements for Public Health Nursing

You need registered nurse training to become a public health nurse. You are required to earn a four-year bachelors degree in nursing from an accredited college, but some communities can entertain public health nurses with associates degrees.

You must seek additional public health training, know the public policy, perform health administration and related subjects.

Graduation can be mandatory for specific supervisory roles in public health nursing jobs.

Master Of Science In Clinical Epidemiology

A Master of Science degree in Clinical Epidemiology provides students with the knowledge of epidemiology and biostatistical methods necessary to perform health research. Backed by one of the best epidemiology graduate programs in Ohio, an M.S. in Clinical Epidemiology from Kent State is sure to set you up for success.

Within the M.S. in Clinical Epidemiology, students will be educated on advanced methods of observational and experimental study designs. Additionally, graduates will be experts in disease prevention, development, diagnosis, and treatment.

With this STEM-designated advanced degree, graduates will be able to complete the following tasks:

  • Study clinical data and understand the sources, strengths and limits of patient data
  • Plan and execute epidemiological studies and clinical trials
  • Carry out patient-oriented research in order to understand and modify health outcomes
  • Conduct pharmaceutical research
  • Complete statistical analysis

As a student pursuing an M.S. in Clinical Epidemiology from Kent State, you will be educated by professors with extensive experience as researchers and practicing clinicians. The faculty is comprised of experts in clinical research, biostatistics, nursing, epidemiology, rehabilitation, cardiovascular diseases, clinical trials and more.

As the only hybrid or 100% online M.S. in Clinical Epidemiology in the area, Kent State is the best choice as you pursue a nurse epidemiology degree.

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Nursing Vs Public Health: Which Career Is Right For You

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. From our economy and politics to the day-to-day routine of working from home, everything has changed. The healthcare industry was, perhaps, the industry most affected. However, if the global pandemic has taught us anything, it is the utter importance of healthcare and our healthcare heroes.

Whether you have been always imagined yourself working in a health-related field, or you have recently been inspired to change careers, you may be ready to take a next step. But with so many paths available, you may be unsure which career is best for you. Nursing and public health are two fields that share many common threads. Both are designed for those who want to make a positive difference in the world and help others in need. Both fields also require compassion, dedication, and care for others.

Which career path is right for you? Read on as we weigh the benefits, the outcomes, and the key differences of nursing vs. public health.

Preparing For Nurse Leadership Roles In Public Health

Public Health Nursing: Impacting an Entire Community

The skills and knowledge required of a public health nurse practitioner are extensive and varied. However, with advanced training and dedication in the field, aspiring public health nurse practitioners can play leading roles in everything from responding to public health crises to developing intervention programs that address avoidable chronic illnesses.

Advanced degrees in nursing can prepare public health nurse practitioners by educating them in core areas relevant to their work. Programs engage students in a comprehensive study of population health management, primary care, research, and advanced health assessment. They also provide students with the opportunity for practical application of classroom material under the guidance of skilled experts.

Inspired to tackle health issues and ensure even the most vulnerable communities have access to quality healthcare and services? Explore how AdventHealth University Onlines Master of Science in Nursing degree prepares nursing leaders to improve the health of communities and respond to the nations greatest health challenges.

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Faqs On Public Health Nurses

Those considering a career in public health nursing have some common questions. Here are five frequently asked questions and the answers.

What is public health nursing?

Public health nursing is commonly defined as a method to promote and protect community health using knowledge from nursing, social and public health sciences. Public health nursing focuses on the overall health of a community, promoting health and preventing disease and disability.

What is the job description of public health nurses?

Public health nurses are considered community advocates, educators and providers of critical public health services. They perform a vital role, focusing more on long-term healthcare and safety, especially among the most vulnerable in society. Public health nurses also are key in helping a community prepare for and recover from health incidents, such as natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

What is the education requirement to become a public health nurse?

Public health nurses typically have either an Associate Degree of Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. These degrees should be obtained from a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Is public health nurse a good career choice?What are the differences between public health nurses and public health specialists?

Is Public Health Nursing A Good Course

Is Public Health Nursing a Good Career? If you are looking for a career in which you can work on big problems such as access to health care, help the most vulnerable members of society improve their health, and make a difference in your community, becoming a public health RN can be an excellent career choice.

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What To Expect From A Career In Nursing

Nursing programs at Ontario colleges come at varying levels for those in or interested in the field. Courses meet the needs of current Registered Nurses looking to diversify their skills as well as future nurses looking to get started.

Patient care demands exceptional attention to detail and a compassion for those in need. If you have these things and you see yourself starting or continuing in nursing education, heres what you need to know.

Become A Certified Public Health Nurse


Certified Public Health. CPH is currently the only certification in the public health nursing field. Candidates must meet one of the below mentioned specific criteria:

  • A bachelors degree along with experience of public health work of at least five subsequent years
  • A relevant graduate degree, with three subsequent years public health work experience
  • A credential from a CEPH-accredited public health school or program, as well as a minimum of three years of public health job experience after that.

The recertification includes at least 50 recertification hours every two years. You can get the CPH designation through the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

For CPH eligibility, the criteria to meet is the school or program should be accredited by CEPH, the relevant governing authority, The Council on Education for Public Health.

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What Is A Typical Pubic Health Nursing Curriculum

The focus of public health nursing programs include health policy and advocacy, population assessment, prevention strategies, program planning and evaluation, and multidisciplinary collaboration. Doctoral programs also address executive leadership, development of systems, generation of research evidence and the translation of research into professional practice.

Learn about nursing resumes.

Career Paths In Public Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines public health as, “… the science of protecting and improving the health of families and communities through promotion of healthy lifestyles, research for disease and injury prevention and detection and control of infectious diseases.” For anyone thinking about entering the public health profession, this also means there is a generous selection career options, each with its own education, training and work experience requirements. The list below outlines some of the most popular career choices in public health and what’s needed to make them happen:

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Meet Public Health Nurse Education Requirements

To begin a career as a public health nurse, you must first become a registered nurse , which entails passing the NCLEX-RN . Some organizations may accept RNs with an associate degree for entry-level positions. Still, earning an undergraduate degree, such as an online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing , is usually required for those seeking public health nurse positions.

In earning a BSN degree, you can gain a foundation in the essentials of public health nursing, including prevention, population health, collaboration within the healthcare profession, and public health policy, from regulations to funding. Other topics covered include caregiving, community outreach, and education.

Attend An Accredited Nursing Program


Students should seek out a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education . Attending an accredited nursing program allows students to:

  • Attend a graduate nursing program
  • Compete in the job market
  • Receive federal financial aid
  • Transfer credits to the program

Degrees to pursue a career as a public health nurse include an Associate Degree of Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing .

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Working As A Public Health Nurse

The COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis, and a growing understanding of the social determinants of health have brought more attention than ever before to public health nursing. Many employers, including hospitals and health systems, nonprofits, and governments, are hiring public health RNs. Clinical placement or other experience in public health settings will help you find a public health nursing job, as will experience with the population you wish to serve or fluency in multiple languages. The average salary for a public health RN, according to PayScale, is $60,000.

Possible public health work settings include:

What Do I Do If A Career In Public Health Interests Me

If you are an LPN and you want to enter the important field of public health nursing, the first step that you need to take is to explore your options for becoming a registered nurse. Obtain your bachelors degree. Many programs are available which build upon your current expertise as a LPN. Take a look at LPN to RN bridge programs such as an online LPN to BSN and compare them with traditional curriculums in order to determine which will work best for you.

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Education Required To Become A Nurse Epidemiologist

In order to become a nurse epidemiologist, you will need to begin by earning your bachelors degree through an accredited nursing program. Many employers of these particular professionals will expect their employees to hold a bachelors degree at least. Nursing programs often include coursework that cover various areas involved in health such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, behavioral sciences, psychology, and nutrition. Alongside lectures within a classroom, hands-on experience in a clinical setting will be required for nurse epidemiologists to thrive.

Additionally, once you have received your bachelors degree you will need to get the right licensure and certification. Every state requires their nurses to be licensed, and employers of nurse epidemiologists will prefer all applicants who hold registered nursing licensure. Once you have graduated from an accredited program, you will need to pass the national council licensure exam for registered nurse. Often, this exam takes several hours to complete and covers various topics including infection control and safety measures.

Additionally, you will need to take extra steps to maintain your accreditation. The governing body for this accreditation will not accept any continuing credits for education, and you must take a new exam every five years. The CBIC will allow all candidates for re-certification to take either a more-challenging at home exam, or a proctored exam.

Find A Program That Fits Your Needs

How To Be A Nurse Mentor

Once you have evaluated your career goals and interests, it is also important to consider your personal goals and needs. Doing so will help you further narrow your focus and find the right program for you.

Be sure to do your research when exploring potential degree programs by exploring the curriculum. As mentioned above, the program you ultimately decide to enroll in should align with your interests so that it can help you develop the skills you will need to reach your career goals.

At Regis, the public health programs are centered around building real-world, hands-on experience to equip students with the skills they need in the field. Not only do students complete 240 credit hours of field experience while obtaining their degrees, but industry-aligned faculty bring their experience to the classroom each day.

We have faculty who have a very interesting mix of experience. All of us have either worked in the field directly or are currently working in the field. Its not just theoretical, we have done it, says Mandel.

Additionally, the ideal program should be structured in a way that fits your needs. For example, if you plan on working while pursuing your education, find a program that will allow you the flexibility you need to balance work and school. At Regis, students are encouraged to work with their advisors and faculty members to create a schedule that fits their lifestyle.

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