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Public Health Nurse
A public health, or community health nurse is an RN who also holds a certificate in community health. This nurse is in charge of ensuring public safety through immunizations, home health care and implementing plans in case of a public health emergency. The public health nurse is specially trained in fields such as child protective services and disease prevention. In addition, various disease testing that is administered through the public health department is also done by the public health nurse. Unlike most nursing jobs, this position is a forty hour per week schedule with nights, weekends and holidays off duty unless there is a public health emergency where their services are required.
The required education varies from state to state as well as the curriculum studied in nursing school. If you received a Bachelors of Science in nursing through a program that offered public health as an elective or core course, then you may simply need to file an application complete with your course study. If your Bachelors program did not include the public health option, you will be required to earn a public health certificate which can be earned through an accredited top online university in as little as one year or as long as three years, you may study at your own pace by utilizing the distance learning option. In addition, as a public health nurse, you will also be required to earn a certain amount of continuing education credit hours each year that will be determined by the government agency you work for. These continuing education courses will keep you up to date on any kind of advances in the public health field; ensuring you to become a successful community health nurse with unlimited advancement opportunities.
Public Health Nurse
The job description for the public health nurse has many parts to it. First of all, the main purpose is to promote healthy living to all community members. This is accomplished by administering immunizations to adults and children alike as well as confidential disease testing for those who request it, in the case of a positive test, the public nurse will also provide resources and options to the patient so they know where to go next to get help for that disease. Home health care is another function of the community health nurse. Some people become home-bound and without any friends or family who are able to get them to the doctor, they may not get their necessary medical treatment. Home healthcare allows the nurse to go into their home to administer medications or provide wound care for those who were injured. The public health nurse also provides education through various venues including pamphlets for those who require it. For example, if a person comes in for an AIDS test which comes out negative, the nurse will explain to them how to prevent another scare; in the same aspect, if a woman comes in for a pregnancy test, the nurse will give her all the options available and assist her to become a good mother, even if it was an unplanned pregnancy.
The main purpose of the community health nurse is to promote healthy living through testing and education for all who are in their community. If you want to become a public health nurse, enroll in classes today. You will be glad that you did.