Public health nursing is evolving, as it is competency-based on new scientific knowledge. It is important to be informed on the Nurse Practice Act of Arkansas, as it is the single most important piece of legislation as it relates to nursing. If you choose to become an advanced public health nurse, your primary focus will be assessing and providing treatment to the community at large, and many who work in health departments are working at healthcare agencies to build this role.
The duties of a public health nurse may include training staff, writing grants, determining policy, screening patients for diseases or seeking to prevent diseases. A public health nurse may gather aggregate information from health science and social science to benefit individual patients, families or populations.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center has an available Advanced Public Health Nurse Exam. A public health nurse that has a Clinical Nurse Specialist degree can take the credential exam to be awarded the PHCNS–BC. Members pay $200 for this exam, and nonmembers pay $350. This credential is proof to employers of your professional development and capabilities.
Consider getting your graduate degree in public health, as it is a growing profession with numerous opportunities.
Most public health graduate degrees in Arkansas include the following criteria for admission:
- Official transcripts from all academic work
- Official GRE scores
- Statement or letter of interest
- Three letters of recommendation
- A current curriculum vitae or resume
The programs in public health typically require anywhere from 36-50 credit hours of graduate level courses. The Masters of Nursing in Public Health curriculum usually includes:
- Techniques of Political and Public Administration Research
- Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation
- Administrative Behavior
- Public Budgeting and Finance
- Seminar in Public Administration
- Grant Writing and Administration
- Administration Leadership
- Administrative Ethics
Students may also choose six credit hours from the following courses:
- Non–Profit Management
- MPA Capstone Experience
- Internship in Public Administration
- Thesis and Public Administration
Arkansas offers numerous institutional scholarships. The HRSA government programs offers the Nurse Corps program where you work for two years in a disenfranchised area, and you will receive 60 percent of your tuition loan balance.
The job of the public health nurse is very critical work for the communities of Arkansas. These nurses help communities prevent disease, learn about appropriate disease treatments, and the nurses work with people from all age groups.
Arkansas Medical and Health Service Managers earned an annual salary of $92,810 in 2014, according to O*Net Online. These nurses work in schools, state and county public health facilities and even private facilities, such as occupational settings. Some typical job titles for public health nurses include, Community Health Nurse, Public Health Nurse Instructor, Occupational Health Nurse, and Patient Care Manager.
Returning for a graduate degree can open many doors to different types of public health nursing, which may give you a new career with the possibility of advancement. It also helps nursing and the community as a whole.
Contact schools today for more information on how to get started.