As the political capital of the United States, Washington DC is the home base for many health care advances and legislative changes. The experience you have gained as a registered nurse in Washington DC may have helped you develop an understanding of major health problems facing the region and the country as a whole. This experience and your existing nursing knowledge may have given you an interest in the growing field of public health.
Washington DC is home to some of the largest nursing organizations in the country, giving you the chance to participate in exciting projects and compete for prestigious awards like the Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, which was awarded to a Washington DC-area nurse in 2015.
Find out how you can strengthen the country’s health by learning more about public health nursing graduate programs in Washington DC.
Becoming a public health nurse is a big responsibility, since you may be expected to be an educator in the community, the face of nursing in Washington DC, and a leader in any health care setting. To become confident in these roles and develop the skills you need to be successful, you need a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a focus on public health nursing. You may also decide to get a doctoral degree, which gives you the title of doctor and may permit you to pursue teaching and research jobs. A graduate degree typically takes between two and three years, while a doctoral degree usually takes at least five years.
As you look through the curriculum for your program, you may see that you must complete courses in various nursing specialties. Courses that are commonly required of public health students include Program Evaluation, Science of Nursing Intervention, Population Health Informatics, Health Equity and Social Justice, Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice, and Public Health Nursing Leadership Roles.
Clinical work is one of the most important parts of this degree program. Your school’s requirements may take you into clinics, government agencies, nonprofit agencies, and seminars, all of which are common of work environments for public health nurses. As you get more and more clinical experience, you should be confident establishing yourself as a leader and speaking out about public health issues that affect your community.
By choosing to study in Washington DC, you may give yourself the opportunity to use your degree in as many ways as possible, given how important the field of health care is in this area. Public health nurses are often employed by clinics, hospitals, government agencies, and research facilities. One of the largest public health employers in this region is the Washington DC Department of Health.
Job growth in Washington DC mirrors job growth throughout the rest of the country. O*Net anticipates a 13% jump in registered nursing jobs by the year 2022, which includes jobs that come from public health. Overall, the average salary for a Washington DC nurse is $79,600 per year (O*Net, 2014). It is important to remember that, as a public health nurse, you have certification and expertise that many other nurses do not. This may have a positive impact on your income and your job outlook.
As the field of health care changes, the importance of public health becomes more and more apparent. Take advantage of this opportunity by contacting public health nursing programs in Washington DC now.