Public Health Nursing

Advanced public health nurses employ a holistic view of health and wellness. They examine how segments of society interact with a health system, assess how individuals function within that health care framework, and develop ways to improve care on a large scale. Public health nurse practitioners also focus on the preventative side of medicine; they campaign for disease screenings and administer immunizations to at-risk populations.

Advanced Public Health Nurse Practitioner Education

The certifying body for Advanced public health nurse practitioners is the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which identifies three routes to certification. All three require that the candidate holds a current active registered nurse license. To sit for the certifying exam, a candidate must possess a graduate degree in public or community health nursing from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Alternatively, a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing and a Master’s in Public Health also make a candidate eligible for testing. Lastly, a graduate degree in nursing or a Bachelor’s in Nursing with a graduate degree in a related field can qualify a candidate to sit for the exam provided he or she has completed a minimum of 2,000 practice hours of advanced public/community health nursing within the last three years. Eligible experience includes teaching or supervision in an undergraduate or graduate level public/community health nursing program. Click here for more information about Advanced Public Health Education Programs.

Advanced Public Health Nurse Career

An advanced public health nurse focuses on assessing and providing treatment to the community at large —working, for example, in health departments, health insurance companies, and home health agencies. Any entity that is interested in the health of a large population would be an ideal workplace for a public health nurse practitioner. A public health nurse’s duties can include writing grants, promoting health throughout a community (via disease screening and immunization), and determining policy. The position may also include aggregating information from different health science and social sciences to benefit an individual patient, family, or population.

Advanced Public Health Nurse Salary

The average advanced public health nurse practitioner earns $90,000 per year, depending on region and experience. With a variety of workplace options, though, salaries can vary greatly depending on venue.

Advanced Public Health Nurse Certification

American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Type of Certification: Advanced Public Health Nurse – Board Certified (APHN-BC)
Eligibility Requirements: A current active registered nurse license and either:

  • A graduate degree in public or community health nursing; or
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing and a Master’s in Public Health; or
  • A graduate degree in nursing or a graduate degree in a related field with a Bachelor’s in Nursing, plus 2,000 practice hours of advanced public/community health nursing withing the last three years.

Certification Process: Apply online or by mail with the paper initial certification application. Six weeks after submitting an application, candidates will receive either an Eligibility Notice, or a letter requesting more information. An Eligibility Notice gives applicants 90 days to schedule and take their exam.
Fees: $395 for non-members of American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association -Public Health Nursing Section or National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
Renewal Process: Certification must be renewed every five years, either online on by mail with the paper renewal application.

State Nursing Certification Information