Though individual patient care is a crucial part of the nursing industry, working in public health can help people and communities make long-lasting changes to health patterns. Public health professionals may tackle diverse problems like drug addiction, teen pregnancy, malnutrition, and sexually transmitted diseases. What you take on as a public health nurse simply depends on where you work and what the prevailing health problems are in your community.
In Missouri, legislators realize that public health is a crucial part of lowering health care costs and improving the quality of life for residents. The Council for Public Health Nursing, a division of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, aims to improve health by educating and empowering public health nurses throughout the state.
Find out how you can use your education in this field by contacting public health nursing graduate programs in Missouri.
Public health can be a very demanding and fast-paced field, so you may find that Missouri schools have many requirements for their public health nursing programs. A Bachelor’s degree in nursing is required, and on top of that, you must have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher as an undergraduate student. It is also important to have work experience as a nurse, since the majority of schools require at least one year of full-time nursing work.
Once you have met the expectations of your chosen school, it is time to figure out what you learn as a public health student. Over the course of two to three years, you may take over one dozen courses that delve into different areas of public health. Some of the courses you may enroll in include Biomedical and Health Informatics, Advanced Practice in Community Health Systems, Assessment and Collaboration with Communities and Systems, Program Planning for Health Systems, and Nursing Inquiry to Support Evidence-Based Practice.
It is clear that you must be ready to act as a leader when you become a public health nurse, since the public will likely look to you as a trusted expert when there are public health threats. You should develop your confidence as a public health figure during your clinical hours. This part of your education focuses on learning from established public health professionals and becoming competent in the different tasks required in this position.
In Missouri, the state government awards several grants and scholarships to nursing students. The Health Professional Nursing Student Loan is worth up to $5,000. The loan is forgivable if you work in Missouri after graduation.
Flexibility is an important part of working as a public health nurse, so it is important to be ready to tackle any public health challenge that may arise during your career. This may involve advocating for residents and for public health measures that may not be well-received by lawmakers. For example, Missouri public health nurses and professionals fought hard to keep the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards on the books in Missouri.
Public health is a huge priority in Missouri. Take advantage of this opportunity by requesting information from public health nursing programs in Missouri.