“Public” and “community” nursing are terms often used interchangeably—but they aren’t necessarily the same thing.
Community health nurses typically work directly with individuals, families, and groups to achieve better health outcomes.
Public health nurses usually take a broader approach to patient populations. They focus on advocating for change in systems, reforming policy, and health promotion.
In general—community health nurses directly help people make the best use of the systems in place, while public health nurses focus on improving those systems.
Of course, there are several factors behind why jobs are named the way they are. When you start looking for jobs in public health or community health nursing, be sure to thoroughly read through the job description to determine if it’s the right kind of role for your skillset and preferences.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.