The public health issues facing Texas are wide and varied, requiring the expertise of health care professionals who understand how and why health problems take root in communities. As a registered nurse, you may have seen the effects of public health problems in your daily work. Drug epidemics, environmental issues, and other health problems can ravage communities. Texas combats these problems through agencies like the Public Health Preparedness program of the Department of State.
Studying what makes communities healthy and how to encourage high health standards in a community can put you in a great position to take your nursing career further. Are you interested in finding out how you can become a leader in your local health community? If so, keep reading to learn more about public health nursing graduate programs in Texas.
Taking the next step in your education shows that you are ready to face the diverse challenges and expectations of public health nursing. Keep in mind that this field is basically an entirely different career than registered nursing, so your Master’s degree should help you get an entirely new mindset. Rather than looking at individual patients and their needs, you look at your community as a whole to figure out what it needs to become more healthy.
Credit requirements differ between schools. In general, though, this program involves completing 30 to 40 credits in advanced nursing courses. These courses are split between theory and clinical work, so get ready to get out into the community and apply your new nursing skills to different public health settings.
The curriculum for your chosen school should give you the background you need to take on a public health nursing position after graduation. To reach this goal, you may enroll in courses like Management & Evaluation in Public Health Nursing, Leadership in Nursing, Epidemiology, Context of Health Care for Advanced Practice Nursing, Applications of Research to Practice, Reasoning in Nursing Research, and Program Development for Public Health Nursing.
Especially in the field of public health, there are many scholarship opportunities for those who want to earn an advanced nursing degree. Since a strong public health department can save the state money, scholarships are an investment that many states are willing to make. Applying for federal and state aid should be one of your first steps. There are also private organizations with financial aid opportunities, like the Good Samaritan Foundation of Texas.
Dedicating yourself to the public health industry often means working with other departments and agencies to reach common goals. In Bell County, public health professionals worked with environmental professionals to investigate illegal dumping in Lake Belton. Public health nurses were responsible for determining the possible health consequences of this action and figuring out what needed to be done to protect residents.
An advanced nursing degree may pay off when it comes to your job outlook and salary potential. The average salary for a registered nurse in Texas is $67,600 per year, and job openings may swell by 28% through 2022 (O*Net, 2012).
Your nursing skills can benefit your community in so many different ways. Discover what you can do with an advanced nursing degree by reaching out to public health nursing programs in Texas.