Every day, it seems like there is a new public health threat facing a South Carolina community, whether it's infectious disease, an environmental issue, spreading unhealthy habits, or drug use. How does the health care community work against these threats and make South Carolina as healthy a state as possible?
The field of public health is responsible for addressing these threats and developing appropriate responses to them. The South Carolina Public Health Association notes that public health nurses are a major part of this specialty. If you have experience as a registered nurse and you are dedicated to South Carolina, this may be the field for you. Find out more about public health nursing graduate programs in South Carolina and the difference you can make as a public health nurse.
Being a public health nurse means working with the general populace, a body of people who are largely unaware of public health issues, what they mean, and what they should do. Working as a public health nurse means being able to understand public health threats and knowing how to explain them to laypeople. To take on this type of leadership and education role, you must have a Master’s degree in public health nursing. Many schools require several years of RN experience, so make sure to look at each school’s admissions requirements before beginning the application process.
Public health degrees look at advanced nursing skills, the spread of disease, community health issues, leadership skills, and community education. As you tackle these subjects, you may take courses like Biostatistical Processes in Health Care, Health Care Systems Planning and Evaluation, Leadership and Management, Epidemiology, Population Health Nursing, Local and Global Health Policy, Health Behavior and Health Promotion, and Resource Management in Health Care.
No matter how much clinical experience you have as a registered nurse, you must get clinical experience that is directly applicable to the field of public health. Most South Carolina schools include 400 hours or more of clinical experience in their curricula.
Going back to school can be a significant financial investment, especially if you are still paying off loans from your first nursing degree. Investing some time in financial aid research can help you find opportunities to cover your expenses. The South Carolina Nurses Foundation awards a variety of grants each academic year.
If you are still wondering what it’s like to work as a public health nurse in South Carolina, all you have to do is look at some of the major achievements of this field in recent years. For every public health issue that has made it to the news and worried residents, public health nurses have taken care of five that never reached the point of public health crisis. South Carolina public health nurses were the first to trace a nationwide listeria outbreak to Blue Bell ice cream.
The strong nursing industry of South Carolina may ease your transition into this advanced specialty. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net notes that nursing jobs in South Carolina are expected to increase 19%. Your salary potential may increase with public health certification. Overall, the average salary for a South Carolina nurse is $58,400 per year (O*Net, 2014).
You can change the future of your career with a public health education. Learn more now by contacting South Carolina public health nursing programs.