In Summary - Public Health Nurse
Public Health Nurses typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos on the Web
- Public Health Nurse- from: Youtube Search
- District Nurse - from: iCould [UK] Video
The Work - Public Health Nurse
Registered Public Health Nurses advise and educate people on health matters. They take the role of family counsellor, teacher and nurse, providing much more than just basic nursing care.
Registered Public Health Nurses assess, plan and evaluate health care for patients in the community. Patients may be people who have been recently discharged from hospital, or people who are house-bound, elderly, terminally ill or long-term sick.
As well as providing treatment and practical nursing care, Registered Public Health Nurses advise patients and their families on health care and the prevention of illness. They are also involved in health education programmes.
One of the main responsibilities of a Registered Public Health Nurse is to check the development of babies through regular visits and clinic sessions. They have links with parents before and after the birth, but the main involvement occurs after the first 28 days of the baby's life. Registered Public Health Nurses advise on normal child development, feeding, safety, and how to play with and stimulate a child.
Registered Public Health Nurses are involved in running clinics and classes - Child Health Clinics, Well Baby Clinics, antenatal and postnatal classes. These can be attached to a GP's surgery or can be separate health clinics.
Registered Public Health Nurses also help to promote health care in the community. They collect and use information about the health and social problems of the local population, and devise the best ways of meeting health needs. Health promotion activities may be aimed at encouraging changes in diet and lifestyle. Registered Public Health Nurses are also required to write and keep accurate reports and records.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information.
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to improving general health, such as diet or exercise.
- Identify or contact members of high-risk or otherwise targeted groups, such as members of minority populations, low-income populations, or pregnant women.
- Contact clients in person, by phone, or in writing to ensure they have completed required or recommended actions.
- Distribute flyers, brochures, or other informational or educational documents to inform members of a targeted community.
- Refer community members to needed health services.
- Attend community meetings or health fairs to understand community issues or build relationships with community members.
- Perform basic diagnostic procedures, such as blood pressure screening, breast cancer screening, or communicative disease screening.
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to diagnostic screenings, such as breast cancer screening, pap smears, glaucoma tests, or diabetes screenings.
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to risk or prevention of conditions such as lead poisoning, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prenatal substance abuse, or domestic violence.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Interests - Public Health Nurse
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Registered Public Health Nurses need to be able to take the initiative, adopt a responsible approach to decision making, and be flexible enough to devise the most appropriate health care plan for each individual.
Tact, patience, sympathy, adaptability and good communication skills are essential. Registered Public Health Nurses work closely with other health professionals, so you must be prepared to work as part of a team.
Entry Requirements - Public Health Nurse
To train as a Public Health Nurse you must first be registered as a General Nurse* (RGN) with the NMBI.
A Nurse (RGN) who is not registered as a midwife (RM) with NMBI must also complete a Child & Maternal Health module. Successful completion will entitle you to apply for registration with NMBI (RPHN) and an award from the HEI.
Further details are available from the HEIs:
- St. Angela’s College Sligo
*See also Nurse - General in the Occupations Database for entry route details.
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Public Health Nurse
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 31k - 54k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Public Health Nurse
Despite a decline in employment, the demand for certain types of nursing skills has remained strong and has resulted in shortages. Work patterns and certain geographical locations are also impacting on recruitment and retention of nurses.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Public Health Nurse
Public Appointments Service
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO)
Health Service Executive (HSE)
An Bord Altranais/Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)