Working day in and day out as a registered nurse in Vermont gives you the chance to learn a lot about the health care industry. While observing advanced practice nurses and those who work in different specialties in nursing, you may have started to learn about public health issues in Vermont and what the state does to quell or minimize these issues.
If you are looking for a way to use your nursing education in a way that combines research, patient care, data analysis, and program development, the field of public health may be right for you. This is a particularly promising field for those who enjoy working with and utilizing data, as health data in Vermont requires regular analysis. Take a look at our list of public health nursing programs in Vermont below for more information.
Before deciding that public health is the right nursing specialty for you, spend some time learning about this degree, what it covers, and what you are expected to do as a public health nurse.
One way of learning about public health nursing is looking into the learning outcomes of graduate programs in this field. Programs often expect students to understand and effectively apply nursing research to public health issues, know how to reach and communicate with residents, design programs to improve public health, and assess financial issues to decide where health care money should go.
Before you need to meet these expectations, however, you get to work through a rigorous curriculum of advanced nursing courses. This allows you to learn from instructors who are highly experienced in public health. Classes that you may have to take prior to graduation include Epidemiology, Community Health Nursing, Environmental Health Nursing, Advanced Nursing Practice Standards, Advanced Public Health Standards, Health Care Leadership, and Research Design & Methods.
Clinical requirements are often very extensive in this field of study. Between community clinics, legislative sessions, public health agencies, and community outreach events, your school may require you to spend more than 400 hours in clinical work.
There are several financial aid options to consider as a graduate student. Many nursing schools hire graduate students to work as teaching assistants or research assistants. This allows you to earn work-study pay while gaining relevant experience. You can also look into programs like the Rural Health and Primary Care Program of Vermont, which offers loan forgiveness to graduates who work in Vermont after graduation.
What is expected of you as a public health nurse may change on a daily basis. From following up on existing issues to deciding how to proceed with reports on new health issues, your work may bring you plenty to do. As a public health nurse, your outreach and education efforts can save lives. In Vermont, the drug fentanyl has become a serious public health issue, leading public health nurses to report that fentanyl-related deaths have increased substantially.
Understanding Vermont’s growing need for nurses may make you feel confident about your choice to return to school. A 16% jump in nursing jobs is predicted by 2022 (O*Net, 2012). The median income for a Vermont registered nurse is $61,000 per year (O*Net, 2014).
Take advantage of opportunities in this field now by requesting information from public health nursing programs in Vermont.