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How To Get Your Public Health Nurse Certificate

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Become A Health Educator

Public Health Nurse: How to Apply for PHN Certificate in CA| Degrees Needed, Costs, Process

Health educators can perform many of the same duties as public health nurses, minus any clinical responsibilities. They often work in public health offices or for government agencies to craft community intervention programs and then implement them through targeted education programs. Depending on the level of education, health educators can also participate in data gathering and analysis.

  • Typical Education: Bachelors

Public Health Nurse Certifications & Licensure

All public health nurses must be licensed as registered nurses in the state in which they practice. While the requirements for licensure can vary from state to state, most states have similar requirements. For example, Oregon requires the following qualifications:

  • Pass the NCLEX exam
  • Complete an accredited nursing program
  • Pass a background check
  • Submit a complete application

The NCLEX exam is currently required to obtain a nursing license in all 50 states. To take this test, candidates must obtain authorization to test from their state nursing board. Once the authorization is received, candidates must pay the $200 exam fee and sit for the five-hour test. The number of questions required to complete the NCLEX will vary from candidate to candidate as this is an adaptive exam and questions change based on the test takers performance.

Certification is a voluntary step for public health nurses but can help demonstrate competency in this unique field. The primary certification public health nurses can earn is the Certified in Public Health designation from the National Board of Public Health Examiners. This certification is not exclusive to public health nurses and is open to anyone who has completed a combination of education and experience in this field. To be eligible, candidates must meet one of the following requirements:

Submission Of Transcripts And Documents

Transcripts: Advanced Practice and PHN transcripts can be sent to our Board electronically from a certified third-party electronic transcripts vendor such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse*, or directly from your school. Electronic transcripts must be sent to .

*If requesting transcripts via National Student Clearinghouse, please use these instructions to ensure proper delivery of your electronic transcripts to the Board.

Required Documents: Additional required documents and forms will be accepted electronically. Required advanced practice and PHN forms and documents will not be accepted from applicants and will only be accepted from the appropriate school, national organizations, and associations electronically to the following Board email address: .

You can check the progress of your online application by regularly logging into your BreEZe account or by using the Application Status and Details portal.

Please refer to our Processing Times page for current timeframes.

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Public Health Nurses Core Competencies

According to the 2018 Quad Council Coalition Competency Review Task Force report Community/Public Health Nursing Competencies, there are three tiers of competencies for public health nurses:

  • Tier 1 Core Competencies: working directly with at-risk populations carrying out health promotion programs at all levels of prevention engaging in basic data collection and analysis, field work, program planning, outreach activities, programmatic support, and other organizational tasks.
  • Tier 2 Core Competencies: taking responsibility for clinical services, home visiting, community-based and population-focused programs. Responsibilities may include implementing and overseeing personal, clinical, family-focused and population-based health services developing programs and budgets establishing and managing community relations establishing timelines and work plans presenting recommendations on policy issues.
  • Tier 3 Core Competencies: apply to public health nurses at executive or senior management and leadership levels in public health or community organizations. Responsibilities may include setting the vision and strategy for an organization .

Public Health Nurse Requirements

Cover Letter Nursing Public Health

Aspiring public health nurses must complete certain educational requirements to enter the field. They should earn a bachelors degree in nursing from an accredited university. They should also gain experience providing care in community health settings such as with a clinic, school, hospital or nonprofit organization. Those interested in building an advanced career should consider a masters degree in public health, where they can gain the leadership skills to be community advocates with clinical expertise.

Beyond educational requirements, the requirements to become a public health nurse include becoming a licensed registered nurse. Nurses with masters degrees can also pursue additional credentials, such as a certification in public health .

Studying for these degree programs and certifications can provide public health nurses with the skills they need for success, including the following:

University of Nevada, Renos online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice program is designed to help students gain these skills, along with the knowledge and educational background to excel in a public health nurse role. Students take courses in subjects such as public health policy, health informatics, epidemiology, and social and behavioral health, preparing them to enter various public health settings.

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Who Is This Program For

For over 100 years, West Coast University has supported passionate people and professionals in the healthcare industry. We educate students to become healthcare leaders, whether they want to pursue careers as nurses or move into administrative roles.

With our interactive, online classes you can learn anytime, anywhere. Theyre enriched with mobile-friendly video content, audio books, simulations, adaptive quizzing, and on-the-go resources for remote learning.

West Coast University proudly supports Americas veterans, active duty military personnel and their spouses. We are committed to serving you with the same integrity with which you served your country.

As a military student, WCU offers a reduced tuition rate to service members and their spouses. You also have access to certain benefits from your service and WCU is here to help you understand and access what is available to you. One of those benefits is eligibility for Tuition Assistance through the Department of Defense.

Our goal is to provide you with the education and support services you need to help you pursue and achieve the success you deserve.

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How Do I Become A Public Health Nurse

The first required step in your educational journey to becoming a PHN is to become licensed as an RN. You are required to pass a national licensing exam called the NCLEX-RN before you can practice as a nurse. A bachelors degree in nursing can prepare you for this.

Certain public health nursing jobs, particularly in supervisory roles, require a graduate degree as well. So you may also want to consider enrolling in a masters in nursing program to give yourself a competitive edge.

While pursuing your degree, look for opportunities to work in or seek additional training in public health, public policy, health administration, and other related subjects. Volunteering with a home health provider or hospice is another way to gain valuable work experience.

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Public Health Nurse Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics presents typical salaries for a variety of professions, including nurses however, they do not provide salary information for specific job titles such as public health nurse. The information below is from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook section on registered nurses.

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How to Apply For a License or Certificate with CDPH

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It’s back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you’ll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor’s or master’s degreesooner than you might think!

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How Do You Get Public Health Certification

To sit for the exam, a candidate must meet one of the following criteria: Currently enrolled in a graduate school accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health Alumni of a CEPH-accredited masters or doctoral program. Bachelors degree and at least five years of public health work experience.

Biostatistics For Public Health

This class provides an advanced introduction to biostatistical research and practice as it relates to public health. Students acquire advanced knowledge of descriptive statistics, graphical data representation, evaluation of diagnostic tests, statistical genetics, cohort and case control studies, and survival analysis.

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What Is A Public Health Nurse

  • The American Public Health Association defines public health nursing as, “the practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences.” A public health nurse works to promote and protect the community and their health through disease prevention, health education, and collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
  • Where Does A Public Health Nurse Focus

    he American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN)

    Nursing in public health is defined by several key facets that make the field particularly more exciting because nurses can choose to focus their work on a specific area of interest. Public health nurses can do a lot. Heres a look at what they do in different focus areas.

    Community health. focuses on the physical and mental well-being of people in a specific geographic region. Nurses whose focus is community health are engaged in the promotion of healthy behaviors and environments, prevention of illness and injury, protection against disease and other emerging health threats, eliminating health inequities, and advocating for social and environmental justice. There may be an entire government or private agency that is focused on public health nursing for the community.

    Nursing in public health is defined by several key facets that make the field particularly more exciting because nurses can choose to focus their work on a specific area of interest. Public health nurses can do a lot. Heres a look at what they do in different focus areas.

    Epidemiology. PHNs who specialize as epidemiologists identify people or populations at high risk, track the progress of diseases, identify areas of healthcare need, and manage programs and evaluate their impact. As with most PHNs, they usually dont provide direct patient care but can be a valuable resource to patients because planning educational programs is a big part of their role.

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    Build An Advanced Career In Public Health Nursing

    University of Nevada, Renos online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice is designed to prepare students for rewarding careers in their chosen field. Guided by a comprehensive curriculum, students develop research-based knowledge of public health, policy and practice. Whether youre interested in working with a government entity, a nonprofit organization or an educational institution, youll have the skills to make an impact in your community.

    Learning more about how the Universitys online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice can help advance your career.

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    Advanced Public Health Nurse Certification

    To become a public health nurse, you must first obtain education in this field from a recognized certifying body. There used to be an examination from the American Nurses Association for public health that offered an associated certification. However, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, that exam and the associated certification are now retired.

    When the examination and certification process was still possible via the American Nurses Association, you had to be eligible to take the certification exam by meeting the requirements set forth by the association. It required a valid RN license and at least two years of full-time experience working in public health nursing. You also had to pay the PHN certification cost.

    After you met the eligibility requirements for community health nurse certification, you could register for the exam. The examination process typically consisted of a written portion and a clinical skills portion. After passing the certification exam, you received the designation Advanced Public Health Nursing Board Certified from the American Nurses Association explain the writers at the American Nurses Credential Center at NursingWorld.

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    Becoming A Public Health Nurse

    Public health nurses straddle the line between being care providers, as well as tireless advocates for the health and well-being of entire populations. They work to stay educated on health trends, and share their knowledge of both health risks and healthier behaviors to help offset those risks to create healthier communities.

    Earning a bachelors degree in nursing can be your first step toward becoming a public health nurse. National Universitys College of Professional Studies can help you earn your RN in an accredited nursing degree program, as well as give you options for additional avenues for distinction in your field, including both a bachelors or masters degree in public health. If youre considering a career in public health, visit our Health & Human Services resources to hear more from students and faculty working in a variety of health-related careers.

    Consider Advancing Your Education


    Many nurses who start their careers with an Associates Degree choose to advance their education to a BSN level later in their career. The best way to achieve this is to enroll in an RN-to-BSN program. This type of program is faster and less costly. Plus, most RN-to-BSNs can be completed online, allowing you to work simultaneously.

    Nightingale Colleges accredited RN-to-BSN programis an excellent choice for working professionals who want to elevate the field of public health nursing by increasing their knowledge and expertise. Its entirely online, and you can complete it in three semesters or 12 months.

    If you are keen on advancing to the top of your field, you have the option to become a Public Health Nurse Practitioner. Public Health NP is an advanced nursing role, so a Masters degree will be required to practice.

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    National Board Of Public Health Examiners

    Certificate Name: Certified in Public Health

    Credential Awarded: CPH

    Cost: $385. A full listing of eligible discounts can be found here

    Certification Requirements & Eligibility

    Applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Be enrolled as a student in a Council on Education for Public Health -accredited school
    • Alumni of a school or public health program accredited by CEPH
    • Have public health work experience as well as:
    • At least a bachelor’s degree and five years’ work experience in public health, or
    • A graduate-level degree in a related field and at least three years’ public health work experience
    • A certificate from a public health program or school that is accredited by CEPH, as well as three years’ public health work experience

    For more information, the NBPHE has a detailed applicant handbook.

    Graduate From High School Or Complete A Ged

    The first step toward a public health nursing career is completing high school or earning a GED. Aspiring public health nurses should focus on science and math classes to prepare them for additional studies. Advanced placement classes or college-level coursework can be particularly advantageous as students can earn college credit while still in high school, which reduces the number of courses required to earn a degree.

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    Enroll In An Accredited Nursing Program

    There are several paths to gaining RN licensure. The first option is enrolling in an Associates Degree program. An ADN is the fastest way to become a Registered Nurse. This type of program takes around two years to complete.

    The second option is to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Nursing. While an ADN is still recognized as the minimum licensure requirement for RNs, over 71% of healthcare employers strongly prefer BSN graduates when filling nursing positions. You can complete a BSN degree in about four years.

    Nightingale Colleges BSN degree is a perfect match for aspiring nurses who want to improve individual, family, and community health and wellness. In as little as 32 months, it will equip you with the evidence-based skill and knowledge to make you an outstanding Public Health Nurse.

    What Are Some Of The Areas Of Employment For Nurses In Public Health

    Masters Business Administration Healthcare

    Public health nurses are employed in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, community health centers, and other organizations improving health at a community level. They may work alone or on multidisciplinary teams, and they often supervise other health care and lay personnel. In addition to working with communities, they work behind the scenes planning activities, managing budgets, and evaluating the effectiveness of public health programs.

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    Study And Pass The Nclex

    The National Council Licensure Exam-Registered Nurse , developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, is a standardized exam that tests you on the practical application and analysis of everything youve learned at nursing school. It helps determine whether you have the knowledge and skills to work in the field of nursing.

    Public Health Nurse Certification

    Public health nursing is a unique and challenging specialty. Public health nurses dont just report to work and take care of an assigned number of patients they work with members of a community to promote wellness and preventive care. A large part of their daily duties is education, so public health nurses must be skilled in assessing learning needs and the communitys willingness to comply with health-related recommendations.

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    Obtain Certification As A Certified Public Health Nurse

    • Student of a school or program of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health
    • Alumni of a school or program of public health accredited by CEPH
    • Public health work experience, including:
    • A bachelors degree, in any concentration, and at least five years public health work experience OR
    • A relevant graduate degree, and at least three years public health work experience OR
    • A certificate from a program or school of public health accredited by or in applicant status with CEPH, and at least three years public health work experience.

    Find out about CEPH-accredited masters in public health online programs and other certifications in public health education and physical activity.

    How To Get A Public Health Nurse Certificate


    To become a public health nurse you must first become a registered nurse . Step 1: Attend an Accredited Nursing Program. Graduate with a BSN from an accredited nursing program. Step 2: Pass the NCLEX-RN. Step 3: Gain Experience. Step 4: Obtain certification as a certified public health nurse.

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