APHN - Advanced Public Health Nurse Jobs

What Does An Advanced Public Health Nurse Do?

An Advanced Public Health Nurse (APHN) is a registered nurse (RN) who has progressed to advanced practice status in public health nursing. These nurses are sometimes referred to as community health nurses. They have many career options, among them working as clinicians, administrators, or educators. They are often involved in both the prevention and the control of infectious diseases and sometimes in emergency preparedness activities. Public health nurses promote and protect community health by using knowledge from nursing and other disciplines.

See open opportunities with APHN near you.

What Are The Job Roles For An APHN?

Discover Nursing describes these job roles as key:



  • Working in public health clinics



  • Educating the community



  • Working with community youth



Job Characteristics



  • Job responsibilities require considerable independence.



  • Work involves significant face-to-face patient contact.



  • The job is multifaceted.



What Education & Certification Is Needed For An APHN?

All APHNs begin as RNs. They have significant nursing experience, have earned status as an advanced practice nurse, and are certified in their area of expertise. Discover Nursing indicates that once an RN has completed a two- or four-year nursing degree or a hospital nursing program, the next step passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to be eligible for state licensing.


RNs can choose from among several paths to become an advanced practice nurse who works in public or community health, according to study.com and Masters and Public Health Nursing . The first is completing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a public health concentration. Another is earning a master of public health (MPH) degree with a nursing specialization. The third option is a program that awards a combined MSN-MPH. Many programs offer at least some online coursework. Some nurses opt to pursue a doctorate in public health nursing.


Among the schools that offer master’s-level APHN programs are:











What Are The Degree Requirements For An APHN?

An advanced public health nurse must have at least an MSN or an MPH, GraduateNursingEDU reports. Also acceptable is graduation from a program that awards a master’s degree in both areas.

What Certification is Needed To Be An APHN?

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards the APHN-BC designation. The exam for this certification has been retired. Candidates now apply by submitting a portfolio.


Nurses who already hold APHN-BC certification continue to use it. Renewals are based on meeting certain professional requirements rather than passing an examination.

What Are the CEU Requirements As An APHN?

Each state has distinct continuing education requirements. A list by state is available in our continuing education guide. Renewal of ANCC certification requires meeting specific practice-hour and professional development requirements.


While offsite continuing education instruction underwritten by employers was once the norm, onsite training is becoming more common. This includes instruction in clinical, ethics, and regulatory areas. Training might be in a classroom setting or completed online.


Professional organizations such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners typically offer members access to continuing education, sometimes at no cost.

Where Can I Work As An APHN?

The most common places where APHNs work include:



  • Community organizations



  • Hospitals



  • Clinics



  • Health and wellness centers



  • Correctional facilities



  • Colleges and universities



  • Hospice centers



  • Global public health organizations


See open opportunities with Advanced Public Health Nurses near you.


Vonda J. Sines is a freelance writer based in the Washington, DC area. She specializes in health/medical, career, and pet topics and writes extensively about Crohn's disease. Her work has been published at EverydayHealth, Lifescript, womansday.com, Yahoo! Health, Catholic Digest, Angie's List Health, and on many more sites.


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