Community Health Nursing Certification and Certificate Program Info

Oct 14, 2019

There are many training programs for nurses who want to become certified in community health nursing. Several professional organizations offer certification to nurses who have completed an accredited training program and passed an exam.

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Essential Information

Certificate programs in community health nursing prepare nurses to work in public health by training them in public health issues such as how disease spreads within a community, how to assess community health issues, and how to implement community health programs. These programs are slightly shorter than a master's degree in duration. Courses cover topics such as family care, diversity in health care and disease epidemics and clinical or residency training may be required. Prerequisites for these programs include a bachelor's degree and some schools require a bachelor's degree in nursing and a nursing license. Community health nursing programs are also readily available online.

Community Health Nursing Certification Program

Community health nursing is often referred to as public health nursing. Graduate certificate programs are typically designed for people who have a bachelor's degree in nursing and who work in the field. Credits from a certificate program will typically transfer, at least partially, into a master's degree program in community health nursing. Also, there are similar public health certificate programs open to both nurses and other health professionals wishing to work in community health.

Community health nursing programs prepare nurses training nurses in public health issues such as the spread of disease within a community and how to assess needs and implement community health programs. Courses cover topics such as:

Coursework Includes:

  • Diversity in health care
  • Care for the families in the community
  • Assessing public health
  • Promoting health to the public
  • Foundations in public and community health
  • The study of disease epidemics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The demand for all registered nurses should be increasing in the coming years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency predicted that employment for registered nurses would increase by 12% from 2018 to 2028 ( The mean wage for registered nurses, as of May 2018 was $71,730, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education and Certification

Depending upon the school, some coursework from certificate programs may transfer into a master's program in community and public health nursing. Also, a few post-master's certificate programs in community and public health nursing exist for nurses who have completed a master's degree program.

Professional associations offer continuing education opportunities and certification for professionals in the field. For example, the American Nurses Credentialing Center awards two applicable credentials, the APHN-BC (Advanced Public Health Nurse - Board Certified) and the PHCNS-BC (Public/Community Health Clinical Nurse Specialist - Board Certified). Candidates in either program have to meet educational criteria and pass an exam.

A community health nursing certification program incorporates courses in topics such as diversity in health care, care for families, and public health to prepare graduates for gain professional certification and to advance their nursing careers.

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