Public health nurses strive to improve the quality, comprehensiveness and continuity of public health nursing care for the community at large. Establishing effective communication between local public health care agencies supports the professional status of the nurses in North Carolina according to the North Carolina Association of Public Nurse Administrators.
Public health nurses educate the public concerning preventative care, treatments of disease, and they work with the public to educate them on healthy living choices.
Many public health nurses belong to the North Carolina Public Health Association, which provides them with many benefits. They have a registered lobbyist in the NC General Assembly, and they network and collaborate with other public healthcare professionals. They provide continuing education, and they promote programs or projects that benefit the public health of North Carolina citizens.
If you choose to get your master’s degree in public health, you will likely have a choice of multiple healthcare settings and may find yourself in an expanded role.
There are several universities in North Carolina that offer graduate nursing degrees in public health. Most of the universities’ application requirements include all transcripts from previous college education, test scores, three letters of recommendation, letter of intent and your resume.
It usually requires around 45 semester credit hours to earn a master’s degree in public health. Core courses equal 24 credit hours, concentration–specific courses equal nine credit hours, capstone courses (Internship & Professional paper I/II) equals six credit hours and electives equal six credit hours.
The core courses of an MPH program may include:
- Public Health Practice
- Ethics and Law and Public Health
- Disciplinary Rural Health
- Fundamentals of Environmental Health
- Introduction to Epidemiology
- Research Methods
- Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
- Biostatistics for Health Professionals I
There is a large selection of electives that are pertinent to public health care.
There are many federal grants and loans available, such as, the Federal Perkins Loan, the Federal Direct Parent Loan Program and the Federal Work–Study Program. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has a webpage with a long list of financial resources for your education.
If you are ready to get your graduate degree, there are many resources available to help you fund your education.
According to O*Net Online, the median annual wages for 2014 were $92,810. The job growth is expected to be 22 percent higher than job growth in other professions, and there is a projected job opening of 149,900 at this time
There are a variety of careers in public health, which include health educators, injury control and prevention specialist, infection control specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, family planning and reproductive health specialist, emergency management specialist and health planners.
There are abundant opportunities for your public health nursing career if you choose to earn your graduate degree. Contact the North Carolina nursing schools listed below to get started.