Public Health Nurse Practitioner Career
What Do You Do in This Career?
Public health nurse practitioners (PHNPs) focus on helping whole communities, instead of just individuals or families, to promote healthy living. PHNPs often travel to patients’ homes, schools, community centers and other sites to give presentations about pressing health issues. Part of public health nursing is to teach about healthy lifestyle choices within the home, workplace, and community.
PHNPs may educate people about the dangers of tobacco use, or provide information about healthy diet, exercise, and safe sex habits. Ensuring healthy living conditions in at-risk neighborhoods can also be part of the job description. Providing immunizations and disease testing is also within the purview of PHNPs. Some work in local government health departments, or as general practice nurses in neighborhoods, or as case managers for public services facilities.
Salary and Career Information
- Salary: Since PHNPs occupy such a wide range of fields, the most reliable salary data for them is the general average for nurse practitioners, who earn between $58,000-$100,000 annually.
- PHNP Requirements: To become a PHNP, you must earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree with an emphasis in public health nursing, and you must pass a certification exam.
- Work Environment: PHNPs typically travel a lot for work, visiting schools, community centers and neighborhoods to give presentations on health, administer vaccines, and conduct other activities aimed at improving the health of the general population. A PHNP’s focus is largely on education and preventive care.
What Type of Coursework Can You Expect in This Program?
Coursework for the nurse practitioner degree with an emphasis on public health usually includes all the fundamental classes any nurse practitioner must take (physiology, chemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, health assessment, and more) in addition to labs in microbiology and public health, nutrition in health and disease, general psychology, and geriatric nursing.
Emphasis is placed on how the atmosphere of a community, it’s socio-economic background and population, affects the prevalence of certain diseases. PHNPs must become familiar with community dynamics, and will often work with one community for many years to improve health related knowledge and practices throughout the community.
Earn an Online Nurse Practitioner Degree
Online nurse practitioner programs have grown in popularity in recent years as more accredited schools have begun offering online alternatives to these degrees. Combining flexibility with the lack of campus visitation required these programs are ideal for working professionals. By clicking on links below, you can request information from each school about its tuition, classes, and programs.
||Kaplan University — Kaplan University's online presence is almost unmatched, offering over 170 online degrees and programs, including MSN in Nurse Administration, MSN in Nurse Education, and MSN in Nurse Informatics. However, there are also 70 campuses across the country for those interested in a more traditional education. Kaplan is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Read more about Kaplan University.|
||Georgetown University — Stationed out of Washington DC, Georgetown University is a cultural and social hub and is one of the oldest schools in the nation. The school has two online nursing programs available, an MSN in Family Nursing and an MSN in Midwifery and Women's Health. Georgetown is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Read more about Georgetown University.|
||University of Cincinnati — The University of Cincinnati is an Ohio-based school with more than 42,000 students and over 300 programs. Many of these programs have online options available like MSN in Clinical Nursing and MSN in Nurse Midwifery, which are great for students who need the flexibility to study around work and family. UC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Read more about University of Cincinnati.|
||American Sentinel University — American Sentinel University is an online college focused on technology, business, and healthcare. The school offers several nursing programs like the RN to MSN bridge programs or the MSN in Nursing Informatics. All of these programs require no campus visitation and can be completed online entirely. ASU has an accreditation by the Distance Education and Training Council. Read more about American Sentinel University.|
||South University — South University began operations over 100 years ago in Savannah, Georgia and now has 12 campuses and an online division, including an MSN for Nurse Practitioners program. The program can be completed in less than two years and there is an RN to MSN bridge option available for you if you do not have a bachelor degree. South is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Read more about South University.|
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