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Public health nurses play an important role in community healthcare. In areas that are underserved, public health nurses provide health education and help residents find the health care they need.
The main duty of a public health nurse is to educate the population. By giving presentations in schools, community groups and at public events, public health nurses teach the community about health issues. Common focuses include preventative care, nutrition, safety and early detection of diseases, but some populations are pre-disposed to specific health behaviors, and topics may change to reflect those differences.
Many public health nursing jobs involve providing direct care to patients. For those without access to healthcare, public health nurses may do routine screenings and immunizations. Preventative care is necessary to keep healthcare costs low for families who cannot afford it.
Public health nursing jobs are typically found in non-profits, community health departments, occupational health facilities and schools. Public health nurses are in high demand and sometimes the jobs get overlooked because the pay is lower than that of other nursing careers. However, public nursing offers more independence and one-on-one patient time than traditional nursing, and many public nurses find it to be a rewarding path.
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