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The important role nurses play in public health

Find out about the role nurses can play in improving public health and how an MSc can give you the confidence to address public health challenges.

In public health, nurses play a crucial role in improving the health and wellbeing of communities. They collaborate with other health professionals to educate communities and deliver appropriate care plans and strategies to reduce their risk of illness and injury and promote their overall health, wellbeing and safety. 

Nurses also play an important part in public health policy reform, helping to shape the future of public health and create positive change and health and wellbeing outcomes within their communities. 

What types of roles do nurses do? 

Nurses work in a variety of health care roles around the world. Just some of the roles nurses can take up include: 

  • Mental health nurse – Deliver support and care to patients struggling with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and help to manage their condition.

  • Neonatal nurse – Deliver care to newborn babies born ill or premature and who may have health issues such as respiratory problems. 

  • Disability nurse – Support people living with disabilities to help them enjoy an independent and fulfilling life.

  • Theatre nurse – Support and deliver care to patients throughout every step of their operation. 

There’s a wealth of opportunities for nurses to provide health care and support to members of the public, both within their own community and abroad, as well as scope to continue to progress throughout their health care career. 

How do nurses contribute to public health? 

Nurses play a crucial role in improving the health and wellbeing of their patients, as well as of the wider public. 

Just some of the ways nurses can contribute to public health include: 

  • Assessing patients’ health and developing and delivering appropriate care plans

  • Monitoring patients’ condition and responding quickly yet carefully to any changes

  • Gathering, recording and analysing public health data to make data-informed decisions when delivering care, contributing to positive health and wellbeing outcomes

  • Educating patients and the wider public about health care and support services available and helping them to access these services

  • Helping to raise early awareness of lifestyle risk factors that can contribute to poor health in the future

  • Helping to identify and assess health trends within communities

  • Collaborating with government and non-governmental organisations and other public health professionals to educate communities on, and promote, primary prevention to avoid illness, injury and disease 

For these reasons, nurses can significantly contribute to public health and have a profound impact on initiating positive change in the health and wellbeing of populations around the world. 

How can an MSc Nursing help registered nurses develop their skills and succeed in public health? 

An MSc Nursing can be the crucial first step in boosting your knowledge and skills and succeeding in the field of public health.  

It will help you build on your existing skillset and gain a more advanced understanding of your nursing practice, empowering you with the confidence to address public health challenges both at a local and global level. 

Just some of the ways an MSc Nursing will help you succeed in public health include: 

  • Gain new insights and perspectives on the nursing practice

  • Strengthen your existing practice through critical analysis and assessment, enhancing your capabilities and furthering your professional development

  • Learn how to succeed as a leader in the field

  • Equip yourself with the in-depth knowledge, skills and expertise you need to apply for international opportunities 

If you want to enhance your nursing practice and take the next step in your career, UCLan offers an online MSc Nursing that will help you master the skills you need to confidently address public health challenges and empower you to make a positive difference. 

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Have questions?  

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