Being a registered nurse in New Jersey gives you an eagle’s eye view of the health problems that plague your city and New Jersey as a whole. Though the main goal of your career is to treat individual patients as they need care, you may long to use your skills to create a healthier and safer New Jersey.
If that sounds like you, then it’s time to learn about the field of public health nursing and how you may be able to contribute to it. Public health nursing involves learning about environmental hazards, dangerous habits, and infectious diseases that may negatively impact the people of New Jersey. From there, you use that information to create workable action plans. Keep reading to find out more about public health nursing graduate programs in New Jersey and how you can get involved in this field.
In general, public health nursing is a fairly competitive field, which is something to keep in mind as you go through the application process. You may want to get information from multiple schools to increase your chances of ending up at a school you enjoy. To be accepted to a public health program, you need to have a current RN license and a Bachelor's degree in nursing. Schools may look at GPA, work experience, and references while making their decisions.
As a graduate student in this field, you have to delve deep into the field of nursing to find the skills that make a great public health nurse. To that end, you should take courses in research, community interventions, public health threats, and leadership in nursing. In your curriculum, you may find courses like Evidence-Based Practice, Healthy Policy and Politics, Community Health Nursing, Environmental Health Nursing, Population-Based Nursing Outcomes, and Philosophical Foundations of Advanced Nursing.
These courses all have their own clinical requirements. In the entirety of your program, you should anticipate completing over 400 hours in public health settings.
Since you are already a working nurse, you may be in a great position when it comes to financial aid. You should already have association memberships and connections that can help you learn about local opportunities. For example, the New Jersey State Nurses Association awards a variety of nursing scholarships every year.
Quite a bit goes into a career in public health nursing. Your time as a registered nurse should have developed your multitasking and prioritizing skills, as they will serve you well in this career choice. On top of running programs, analyzing data, working with other public health nurses, and handling public inquiries, it may be up to you to secure funding for projects you want to accomplish. In New Jersey, 10 community groups recently received $2 million in grants to strengthen their public health programs.
Dedicating yourself to public health nursing may pay off in a number of ways. Of course, with an advanced degree, you may increase your earning potential. The average salary for a New Jersey registered nurse is $78,000 per year (O*Net, 2014). An 11% increase in job openings is expected by 2022 (O*Net, 2012).
Take your nursing education to the next level today by reaching out to public health nursing programs in New Jersey.