Nurses have a great amount of responsibility to the communities they serve and the patents they take care of. As a registered nurse, you know what it is like to use your skills and knowledge to positively impact the lives of others.
The importance of public health nursing is more clear now than it has ever been before. As California moves to enact a law that requires vaccinations for public school students, it’s crucial for public health nurses to make patients and families feel comfortable about these requirements.
If you are interested in using your nursing experience to have a broader impact on your community, keep reading to explore public health nursing graduate programs in California.
Working in public health requires more than a strong grasp of nursing skills. It also requires you to understand major issues in public health on a statewide and national level, know how to communicate with people of different backgrounds and medical needs, and feel comfortable working with legislators for the benefit of public health initiatives.
Becoming a public health nurse means earning a Master’s degree in nursing. To qualify for acceptance to one of these programs, you must already have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Many schools also expect you to have one or more years of nursing experience, as this experience can give you the background and confidence you need to work in the public eye as a nurse.
The courses you take should help you become a leader in your community and put your nursing skills to work in a public health setting. Some of the courses you may take as a public health student include Applications of Research to Practice, Statistical Literacy and Reasoning in Nursing Research, Theory and Practice of Public Health Nursing, Public Health Nursing Leadership & Management, and Epidemiology.
If you are willing to stay in California after graduation, consider student aid options that are available through state agencies and programs. The need for public health nurses is growing rapidly, so you may not have to pay for your schooling out-of-pocket.
The need for nursing professionals is very high in California, so taking this step in your education may benefit you and your community. O*Net expects job openings for RNs to increase by 17% through 2022.
The average salary for an RN in California is $96,500 per year (O*Net, 2014). However, keep in mind that public health nurses must be licensed through the California Board of Registered Nursing. This additional level of certification may boost your earning potential and help you qualify for employment openings with government and nonprofit agencies.
Public health nurses take on many different responsibilities in California. You may head up programs that focus on vaccination, preventative care, proper nutrition, sleep habits, or other important topics. Depending on your position, you may spend most of your time educating families, providing care, leading programs, or looking into research.
Public health nursing is one way that you can use your nursing education to have a lasting impact on California’s health care industry. Take the next step now by contacting public health graduate nursing programs in California.