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Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Salary Range
€31k - €54k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Public Health Nurses are qualified registered nurses who provide a range of health care services in the community.


  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.


  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

In Summary - Public Health Nurse

Career Sectors

Public Health Nurses typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Nursing & Midwifery
Medical & Healthcare

Videos on the Web

Further Information

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:

  • NUIG
  • UCD
  • UCC
  • 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

Data Source(s):

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

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