If you are looking for career advancement opportunities in the medical field, then public health nursing offers career stability at the local, state, and federal levels. Your role as a public health nurse in West Virginia will entail protecting and promoting overall community health. Your main goal will be to help prevent illnesses and injuries while promoting wellness through the encouragement of healthy behaviors (APHA, 2015, August 7).
As a certified public health nurse, you will be involved with:
- Conduct scientific research
- Vaccinate the public
- Teach tobacco and alcohol risks
- Set safety standards
In order to become successful in the field of public health, you will likely need to enroll in a graduate degree program that has attained accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The CCNE ensures the nursing program fulfills the national nursing requirements and prepares you for the APHN-BC certification.
Click on a college to learn more about becoming a public health nurse in WV today.
When enrolling in any master’s degree program in West Virginia, be prepared to provide your transcripts and a copy of your nursing license. Most colleges require you to have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. These credentials prove that you have a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of nursing.
If you do choose to attend an RN to MSN program in Public Health, you may have to have already taken the following subjects:
- Health assessment
- Nursing research
- Applied statistics
Depending on if you take full-time or part-time courses, a master’s degree program may take between two and three years of classroom instruction and a required clinical practicum. As a graduate nursing student, you may need to choose a specialty field and take the corresponding courses.
Instructors may teach you how to improve your community’s access to affordable healthcare, advocate healthcare policy to governing authorities, and identify health risk factors in the community. Academic coursework in a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) program may cover:
- Advanced pathophysiology
- Pharmacology in advanced practice nursing
- Spiritual care
- Research proposal writing
During the course of your clinical practicum, you will gain hands-on experience through the completion of around 500 hours at an approved facility.
Depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for certain scholarships, fellowships, or loan programs. If your college does not offer a nursing scholarship, you can complete the FAFSA, or look into Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, and Nursing Student Loans. These programs may require you to provide proof of financial need in order to be eligible for assistance.
Contact the public health nursing graduate programs on our site to review financial assistance options today.
Studies conclude that the employment outlook for the nursing profession, including public health, is expecting a 19 percent growth across the nation by 2022 (BLS, 2015, August 7). With West Virginia currently employing 19,120 registered nurses, this increase in demand may produce 3,633 additional employment opportunities in the local nursing industry (BLS, 2015, August 7).
Depending on your area of expertise, you may find yourself working in one of the following public health fields:
- First response
- Health education
- Science and research
- Community planning
- Public healthcare
- Occupational health and safety
- Public health policy
- Environmental health (APHA, 2015, August 7)
As a public health nurse in West Virginia, you may earn a starting salary of $56,390 per year. To increase your salary and prove your proficiency in the public health sector, you can earn the APHN-BC certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. With the proper credentials and work experience, your annual salary could increase to $76,470 (BLS, 2015, August 7).
Further your nursing career by enrolling in an RN to MSN program in West Virginia today.