If your career goals include improving your community’s health and access to healthcare services, then becoming a licensed public health nurse in Louisiana allows you to further your career and become an expert in the nursing field. As a public health nurse, you will focus on protecting and promoting overall community health by utilizing knowledge gained from social health, public health, and nursing sciences (APHN, 2015, July 20). You may assist with the design and implementation of healthcare policies and programs to meet underserved communities’ needs by:
- Monitoring health trends
- Identify risk factors
- Setting local healthcare priorities
- Advocating policies
- Implementing healthcare education campaigns
If you have already earned your Bachelor of Science in Nursing and wish to further your career by becoming a public health nurse in Louisiana, you will need to enroll in a master’s degree program at an accredited college. As the main governing body, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits colleges that have met the national standards for nursing, preparing you for the licensing exam once you have completed the program. Click on a college to learn more today.
Most colleges in Louisiana require you to complete a few prerequisites before you are allowed to take advanced practice courses. Prerequisite courses include health assessment, pathophysiology, applied sciences, and nursing research. You will also need to prove that you have earned your BSN degree, RN license, and CPR certification. Master of Science in Nursing programs generally take between two and three years of full-time training, which includes classroom instruction and a clinical practicum. Academic and advanced core coursework may include:
- Bioethics and health policy
- Research and theory in advanced practice nursing
- Spiritual care
- Advanced health assessment and health promotion
- Advanced nursing practice role
- Advanced pathophysiology
In addition to your core courses, you will need to select a clinical focus in an advanced practice clinical specialty. Most master’s degree programs require you to have ongoing clinical work experience by working a minimum of 500 hours in an approved clinical setting. Further your career by enrolling in a RN to MSN program today.
If you wish to work in an underserved area of the state, you may qualify for financial aid assistance through one of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ scholarship or loan programs. These programs help pay for your college costs and living expenses in exchange for working in an underserved area for a certain number of years. You may also qualify for a fellowship opportunity or scholarship through a national healthcare organization, such as the Council of Graduate Schools or the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
With an average annual salary of $60,230, studies report that approximately 40,460 registered nurses, which include public health nurses, work in Louisiana’s medical industry (BLS, 2015, July 20). Experts are predicting a 19 percent growth in the nursing sector, which could potentially provide 7,687 more career opportunities in this state by 2022 (BLS, 2015, July 20). After you earn your master’s degree and license, you may find employment at:
- Government agencies
- Nonprofit groups
- Community health centers
As a public health nurse, you may need to travel locally or long distances to implement healthcare services to underserved regions and meet with community groups. To further your career and potentially earn upwards of $79,410 annually, you can earn a specialty certificate through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Choose the right master’s degree program by clicking on a college to learn more.