As a nurse, what is better than improving the health and well-being of one patient? Improving the health of your entire community. That is why the field of public health is so crucial to the strength of society and to the strength of Maryland. Public health focuses on threats that affect entire communities or cities, such as infectious disease, drug epidemics, and environmental health.
Many of the advances in nursing today focus on public health. The Nursing Excellence GEM Award in Maryland is often awarded to those who have made great strides in the field of public health.
Take a look at public health nursing graduate programs in Maryland and find out what you can do to advance this field.
When you become a public health nurse, you become a leader in your community. You are expected to stay on top of research, health scares throughout the state, and possible threats in your area. This is a big role to take on, so you must meet fairly strict requirements to enter a public health nursing program. Of course, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and a valid nursing license. However, it is also likely that you will need several years of experience as a registered nurse.
The curriculum for public health nursing programs covers common community health threats, procedures for handling health issues or threats, and the study of disease. While earning your degree, you may take classes like Theoretical Perspectives in Advanced Nursing, Epidemiology, Advanced Nursing Skills, and Nursing Research.
You must also take your education out into the community to get practical experience. Practicum courses help you gain experience at clinics, government agencies, and other places that use public health nurses.
You may want to spend some time on financial aid, especially if you still have student loans from your undergraduate nursing degree. There are quite a few aid options for graduate nursing students. Through Maryland, you can apply for the State Nursing Scholarship and Living Expenses Grant. This grant requires you to fulfill a service obligation after graduation.
When you get started in your career as a public health nurse, you may soon realize that it is important to be able to work independently. However, although most of your days may be spent working on your own, you must stay aligned with the goals of public health in Maryland. The Baltimore County Federation of Public Health Nurses unites public health nurses with the goal of advocating for the profession and ensuring common goals across Maryland.
Overall, the nursing industry of Maryland is very stable. Between the years 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects to see a 7% increase in registered nursing jobs. Their data indicates that registered nurses in this state earn an average salary of $71,400 per year (O*Net, 2014). Specializing in public health may improve both your job outlook and your income.
It is very rewarding to see that your work has led to a safer and healthier community. Take the first step toward that goal by contacting public health nursing programs in Maryland.