Nurse walking through hallway

Public Health Nursing

Learn How to Become a Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses (sometimes called community health nurses) work within the community to improve the overall health of the area. They put together plans that alleviate or eliminate health or safety issues, and they may help communities prepare for natural disasters or assist in disaster relief efforts.

Public health nurses communicate with health planners and policy makers to help members of the community voice their concerns and provide community education on health and wellness, disease prevention, nutrition, and childcare. In low-income and rural communities, public health nurses also provide critical services such as immunizations, prenatal care, and health counseling for youth and the elderly.

Preparation Path

Get your BSN

Pass the NCLEX and become an RN

Get experience in a public health setting

Typical Tasks

  • Monitoring health trends and identifying risk factors unique to specific communities
  • Acting as an advocate with policymakers
  • Working with youth in the community
  • Providing basic direct care such as immunizations and screenings

Employment Settings

  • County or state departments of health
  • Correctional facilities
  • Clinics
  • Occupational health facilities
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • Government and private agencies

Annual Salary Range

$46,500 – $73,000



Education Requirements


Prepared to get started on your goal of becoming a public health nurse?