The health advances that Massachusetts residents enjoy today did not come out of nowhere. Rather, the most important health care changes that have occurred over the last 100 years came about as the result of public health awareness. When health care providers work to keep communities healthy and safe, they inadvertently also improve the health of individual citizens.
If you are looking for the next step in your registered nursing career, you may want to consider public health nursing. In this specialty, you can work with your community to enhance health and wellness while enacting different health programs and standards. The Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nursing is wholly dedicated to this field and its advancement.
Find out more about your degree options by contacting public health nursing graduate programs in Massachusetts.
Becoming a public health nurse requires hard work, experience, and quite a bit of study. The first step is looking into graduate programs in Massachusetts. A Master’s degree in public health nursing requires you to earn about 40 credits over two to three years.
While you work your way through your program, you must gain experience in health care technology, research and statistics, population nursing care, and clinical evaluation. Some of the courses that may help you meet these goals include Population and Patient Management, Applied Biostatistics, Health Care Policy, Epidemiology, Methods in Research and Evaluation, Social & Behavioral Factors in Health, and Environmental & Occupational Health.
Many of the courses you take at this level include a classroom component and a practical experience component. By gaining experience in various public health settings, you can start figuring out what you want to do after graduation and what duties you may take on as a public health nurse.
After you have been accepted to a public health nursing program, you can start applying for loans, grants, and scholarships. The Massachusetts Nurses Association offers a number of awards each year. If you are willing to work in Massachusetts after graduation, you may also qualify for loan forgiveness programs.
The role that you fill as a public health nurse is multifaceted. Sometimes, you are an educator to children and adults. Sometimes, you analyze data and make educated decisions that protect Massachusetts. Other times, you have to make tough calls that protect Massachusetts residents and its at-risk citizens. Public health nurses recently investigated Massachusetts nursing homes that claimed to be in compliance with dementia care laws, despite evidence to the contrary.
The nursing industry of Massachusetts is in line with the nursing industry of the United States. Per O*Net, job openings for Massachusetts nurses are expected to increase 19% between 2012 and 2022. Registered nurses in this state earn an average salary of $81,400 per year (O*Net, 2014). However, as a graduate-level nurse, you may enjoy an increased demand for your advanced nursing skills. This may also help you command a higher salary.
Public health nursing is a field that will likely keep growing as the Affordable Care Act requires states to meet public health benchmarks. Contribute to this effort by contacting public health nursing programs in Massachusetts.