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What do Public Health nurses do?
(found programs from 107 schools)

Chris O'Brien received her BSN from Auburn University and her Master's in Public Health degree from Emory University. With a background in cardiac care, home health, nursing research & education, and medical writing, she now enjoys the dual paths of being a freelance medical writer and yoga teacher in Decatur, GA.

According to the American Public Health Association, "public health nurses integrate community involvement and knowledge about an entire population or community with personal, clinical understandings of the health and illness experiences of individuals and families within that population." In other words, they maintain a connection with a particular community and use their nursing skills to promote health and prevent diseases of all sorts.

Where do public health nurses work?

Public health nurses work just about anywhere. They may work as part of a local, state, or national public health service in clinical or administrative roles. For example, they could be involved with a local or state health department or in the area of environmental health, in disaster relief. Others work in the political arena as consultants or lobbyists. Still others pursue and obtain grants to fund and maintain much-need grassroots health programs.

What do public health nurses do?

For many, the first encounter with a public health nurse occurs when receiving immunizations or screenings at a local health department. These procedures may seem routine, but in essence, the nurses are collecting patient data and providing preventive services to the community they are serving. But, public health nurses do much more than provide vaccinations; their main focus is preventing infectious diseases. Even diseases that have been eradicated in this country can return if public health efforts fall short. A current example of this is tuberculosis, which has rebounded in recent years.

Public health nurses can also work within specific communities. For instance, some nurses may be devoted to helping refugees. Before any health care can be provided in these cases, communication barriers must be overcome and trust has to be developed.

A focus on prevention

Public health nursing starts with building relationships-beginning with one individual or family. The impact on the overall community is difficult to measure because the effects are so far-reaching. When a person's basic needs are met he or she is more likely to behave in ways that will promote his or her overall health.

Public health nurses take on responsibilities that include helping with immunizations and working specifically with underprivileged communities. For example, in Georgia, a set of nurse educators takes students to Moultrie where they work for several weeks with migrant farm workers.

Students and professionals alike create temporary clinics to provide health care to these workers. Many have chronic conditions that have gone untreated; the clinics help them secure treatment and in turn, continue to work, harvesting fruits and vegetables for the general population. The nurses there also provide health education, making sure that if a worker does get sick he or she knows how to care for him or herself and not spread the infection. An effective public health nurse doesn't just consider the individual, but also the community.


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Full List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs:



Albany State University (Albany, GA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Angelo State University (San Angelo, TX)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
California State University-Dominguez Hills (Carson, CA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Chamberlain College of Nursing (Cleveland, OH)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Clarkson College (Omaha, NE)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Concordia University-Wisconsin (Mequon, WI)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Delta State University (Cleveland, MS)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Adult/Family)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
Program Name: Psychiatric Mental Health NP, Women’s Health NP
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Felician College (Lodi, NJ)
Program Name: MS in Nursing - Adult Nurse Practitioner, MS in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Frontier Nursing University (Hyden, KY)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
George Washington University (Washington, DC)
Program Name: MSN - Adult Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, GA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Graceland University (Independence, MO)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, AZ)
Program Name: M.S. in Nursing: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner - Adult-Gerontology (accepts only AZ, CO, FL)
Idaho State University (Pocatello, ID)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Illinois State University (Normal, IL)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing (Hammond, LA / Lafayette, LA / Lake Charles, LA)
Program Name: Adult Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Kaplan University - Online (Hammond, LA / Lafayette, LA / Lake Charles, LA)
Program Name: Adult Gerontology Practitioner Certificate, DNP - Executive Leader, DNP - Family Nurse Practitioner
Loyola University New Orleans Online (New Orleans, LA)
Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Maryville University (St. Louis, MO)
Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing- Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Online Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
MCPHS University (Worcester, MA)
Program Name: MSN with Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Metropolitan State University (Saint Paul, MN)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Midwestern State University (Wichita Falls, TX)
Program Name: Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Montana State University (Bozeman, MT)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Mount Marty College (Yankton, SD)
Program Name: Masters in Nursing (Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner), Masters in Nursing (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner)
New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM)
Program Name: Psychiatric/Mental Health NP
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
Program Name: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, KY)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Radford University (Radford, VA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Regis University (Denver, CO)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Rush University (Chicago, IL)
Program Name: Family NP (FNP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Rutgers The State University of New Jersey-Newark (Newark, NJ)
Program Name: Acute Care of the Adult and Aged (NP or CNS), Advanced Practice in Pediatric Nursing (NP or CNS), Advanced Practice in Women’s Health (NP), Clinical Track, Community Health Nursing NP/CNS, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Oncology (Adult and/or Pediatric), Primary Care of the Adult and Aged (NP or CNS), Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing (NP or CNS)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
South University Online (Montgomery, AL)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gerentology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
South University Online (Tampa, FL / West Palm Beach, FL)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gerentology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
South University Online (Savannah, GA)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gerentology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner, Post Graduate Certificate in Adult Health Nurse Practitioner, RN to MSN Bridge - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, RN to MSN Bridge - Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
South University Online (Columbia, SC)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gerentology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
St. Louis University (Saint Louis, MO)
Program Name: Adult (NP CNS or Nurse Educator), Adult Acute Care NP, Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontological (NP CNS or Nurse Educator), Pediatric (CNS NP or Nurse Educator), Psychiatric/Mental Health (CNS NP or Nurse Educator)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY)
Program Name: Perinatal/Women's Health NP/CNS
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Tennessee Board of Regents (Nashville, TN)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis, TN)
Program Name: Acute Critical Care, Gerontology, Primary Care, Psychiatric/Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
The University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, TX)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (Galveston, TX)
Program Name: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program - Gerontological, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program - Pediatric
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Troy University (Montgomery, AL / Troy, AL)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
UMassOnline (Shrewbury, MA)
Program Name: Graduate Certificate - Nurse Practitioner Post Master
University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Program Name: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Little Rock, AR)
Program Name: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg, MO)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner (Rural Family Nursing focus)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)
Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing - Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science in Nursing - Womens Health Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Psychiatric NP/CNS
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Cincinnati - Online (Cincinnati, OH)
Program Name: MSN - Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Womens Health Nurse Practitioner
University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Amherst, MA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Michigan-Flint (Flint, MI)
Program Name: DNP - Adult Nurse Practitioner, DNP - Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, DNP - Family Nurse Practitioner
University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Missouri-Kansas City (Kansas City, MO)
Program Name: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, NE)
Program Name: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner/Psychiatric Dual Track, Gerontological and Geropsychiatric Nursing (NP or CNS), Women’s and Children’s Health Nursing (NP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontology Nursing (CNS or NP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Phoenix (Multiple Locations)
Program Name: Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
Program Name: Post-Masters DNP - Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Post-Masters DNP - Adult Nurse Practitioner, Post-Masters DNP - Family Nurse Practitioner, Post-Masters DNP - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Post-Masters DNP - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Post-Masters DNP - Psychiatric/Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Rhode Island (Kingston, RI)
Program Name: Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Saint Francis (Crown Point, IN / Fort Wayne, IN)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of South Alabama (Mobile, AL)
Program Name: Adult Acute Care NP, Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care NP, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Palliative Care Specialty, Advanced Emergency Nursing (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Dual Role), Child Health NP, Emergency NP, Family NP, Geropsychiatric (Adult Psych NP/Gerontological NP), Neonatal NP, Pediatric Acute Care NP, Psychiatric (Family) NP, Psychiatric/Mental Health NP, Women’s Health NP
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Southern Indiana (Evansville, IN)
Program Name: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of St. Francis (Joliet, IL)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
Program Name: NP with Focus on Rural Substance Abuse
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Oshkosh, WI)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Program Name: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner - ACNP, Adult Nurse Practitioner - ANP, Adult Nurse Practitioner/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Walden University (Minneapolis, MN)
Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - BSN Track Adult Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - BSN Track Family Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - RN Track Adult Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Walden University (Minneapolis, MN)
Program Name: MSN - Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (RN Track), MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (BSN Track), MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (RN Track), MSN- Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (BSN Track)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Western University of Health Sciences (Pomona, CA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Wheeling Jesuit University (Wheeling, WV)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Wright State University (Dayton, OH)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited