For me I found a job pretty easy, usually they are short staffed like all other areas and the pay is less. I would look on the state’s website for jobs. It’s clinic based, outside the hospital. You will learn a whole new set of skills not taught in nursing school. Less stress but less pay. It’s a mix of behind the desk and hands on nursing. Lots of learning and trainings involved. I know each state is different too.
There are lots of roles in Public Health depending on your interest. You can go the research route if you are interested. You can also do epidemiology, infectious disease, infection control, you can work in a federally qualified health center and serve the underserved population. You can join professional nursing organizations to obtain knowledge in the field like American Public Health Nurses organization or even ANA. Another good thing to do is volunteer for the county's public health dept and gain experience that way
If you want to find out more information about Nursing and public health go to the nearest college that offers Nursing Degrees and see if they offer either print or online journals dealing with public health. Not just Nursing Journals but any journal such as journals for Social Workers and other mental health professionals. Also, there are many hard covered text books that are written specially about public health nursing. Public health nursing is not an acute care/hospital role.
Nurses in public health work in clinics, make home visits, work in emergencies outside the hospitals and in just about any setting where a nurse may be needed in the community.
Public Health Nursing differs from state to state. In California, the certification has to be applied for after completion of a BSN that includes specific courses relevant to public health as well as a clinical in public health. In California there is also a fee attached to the every 2 years certification. There are many diverse roles for PHNs. A big plus is most often that these roles are 8-5, no nights, no holidays. Some roles are with mothers and babies in their homes, clinics for immunizations, communicable disease investigations, lead follow up, and foster care nursing (working with CPS) as well as APS. All of these roles are independent, and provide numerous opportunities to connect community individuals to resources and provide education. I have been blessed to do this work for almost 30 years.