Every part of the nursing industry is important, and every nursing professional contributes to Florida's overall health. However, you may be ready for the next step in your career. By studying public health, you can learn more about how to move from treating individual patients to improving health and wellness in the state of Florida as a whole.
The importance of public health in Florida cannot be ignored. The Florida Public Health Association is always examining new research and looking at Florida health care statistics to find areas of weakness in nursing. They use this information to change standards, lobby for health care in legislation, and improve patient outcomes across the state.
Contact public health nursing graduate programs in Florida to find out how your experience may make you a great public health nurse.
Public health is a fairly large field, which is why you need an advanced graduate degree to practice in this field. By the time you graduate from a public health nursing program, you should be able to meet the learning outcomes of the program and meet the expectations of employers across the state. Your education should show you how to allay public health fears and concerns, educate groups and individuals on preventative health care measures, and improve awareness throughout the community via the media and other venues.
With a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and at least one year of nursing experience, you may be ready to tackle the challenges of a public health nursing degree. As is the case with most graduate nursing programs, this degree requires the completion of at least 30 credits. Exact credit requirements vary between schools. You may be able to graduate in two to three years if you attend school full-time.
The courses you take should advance your knowledge of nursing techniques and skills while building up an entirely new understanding of public health expectations and protocols. The curriculum at your school may include classes like Public Health Nursing Leadership and Management, Program Development and Evaluation in Health Care, Applications of Research to Practice, Environmental Health, and Public Health Nursing Interventions. While completing the required courses, you should also gain hundreds of hours of clinical experience at local health care agencies and health care providers.
Given how rapidly the field of nursing is growing in Florida, it should come as no surprise that the state’s need for nurses in all specialties is increasing. Overall demand for registered nurses is expected to increase 23% between 2012 and 2022 (O*Net, 2012). With your specialized public health training and education, you may qualify for positions that are closed to many registered nurses. In Florida, the average salary for a registered nurse is $60,900 per year (O*Net, 2014).
The duties you take on as a public health nurse may vary from day to day, as this field is highly dependent on current health crises and public concerns. For example, in mid-2015, Florida saw a mild outbreak of a flesh-eating bacteria infection. The media overreacted to this threat and published incorrect information. Public health nurses were responsible for relaying accurate information to citizens and minimizing panic.
Florida’s health needs are expected to change in coming years as the population continues to age. You can help the state transition by reaching out to public health nursing programs in Florida for more information.