Public Health Nurse Job Description Template

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Written by Alexa Davidson, MSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
A public health nurse swabs a patient's cheek to determine whether they have a virus at a drive-up clinic.

Public health nurses play a vital role in promoting and protecting the health of regional, state, or national populations. They work to promote public health by preventing the spread of infectious diseases and conducting screenings for various illnesses.

These nurses are integral to educating the public about health issues, disease prevention, and healthy lifestyle choices through educational or outreach programs. Common workplaces for public health nurses include state health departments, correctional facilities, schools, community health centers, and mobile health units.

If your institution is hiring public health nurses, it’s important to create a job description that attracts the most qualified candidates. Read what to put in a public health nurse job description so you can fill positions with nurses who have the right skills for the job.

Public Health Nurse

Tips: A public health nurse may work in a variety of settings, often outside of the traditional healthcare environment. Customize this section to reflect the type of institution that’s hiring.:

Start the job posting by describing the work environment, followed by a brief description of the role. Consider this section a high-level overview before diving into the details later on in the nurse job description. It should give the potential candidate an idea early on whether this position would be a good fit for them.


Are you ready to make an impact on public health in the state? The Department of Health is seeking a registered nurse (RN) to join the team at our regional clinic. We strive every day to stay ahead of public health trends to keep our community safe and healthy.

The public health RN is responsible for caring for a diverse population to prevent, treat, and investigate communicable diseases in the community. This opportunity requires versatile nursing skills, from research and administrative duties to hands-on patient care. Previous healthcare experience is preferred but not required.


Tips: The benefits section of the job description is your company’s opportunity to showcase the aspects of employment that set your facility apart from others. Describe the perks that could attract a nurse to this work environment instead of a conventional healthcare setting. For example, if this position is with a state agency, share the unique benefits of a government nursing job.


  • State pension
  • Health, vision, and dental insurance for employees and qualifying family members
  • Flexible spending account (FSA)
  • Life insurance
  • Paid vacation and sick leave
  • Tuition assistance

Duties and Responsibilities

Tips: In this section, explain the daily responsibilities a nurse in this role can expect to take on. Describe the goals of the program for the healthcare institution, such as health promotion or communicable disease prevention, that will be the focus of a nurse’s role. If there are specific initiatives your organization is working on, showcase them here — it’s your opportunity to inspire nurses about the work they’ll be a part of.


  • Conducting epidemiologic investigations
  • Keeping records and reports of disease outbreaks
  • Promoting maternal/child health initiatives
  • Creating emergency preparedness protocols and response plans
  • Deploying emergency response efforts
  • Creating a plan for mass prophylaxis
  • Participating in infectious disease policy development
  • Developing and implementing smoking cessation programs

Compensation and Shifts

Tips: As you craft your job posting, ask your team, “What is a public health nurse job description meant to accomplish?” It should accurately describe the expectations of a nurse in this role while motivating potential candidates to apply. You can do this by expanding on financial incentives and schedule requirements that may be appealing to a nurse in their job search.

In this section, give the candidate an idea of the work schedule for the job along with financial compensation. While the average public health nurse salary is $69,839, you can customize this section to reflect the salary at your facility.


  • Salary starting at $60,291
  • Monday-Friday 9-5, no weekends
  • Occasional on-call shifts may be required in the event of natural disasters or public health emergencies

Qualifications and Skills

Tips: Beyond their daily tasks, a public health nurse is often required to collaborate with other healthcare professionals, government agencies, and community organizations to address health issues collectively. The work they do promotes public health beyond local communities — often reaching patients with limited access to care.

Describe which skills are necessary to function within the team and carry out the duties required for the role. Include specific public health nurse education requirements if applicable.


  • Currently licensed as a registered nurse
  • CPR certification
  • Patient education experience preferred
  • Vaccination administration experience required
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Excellent communication, both written and verbal

Call to Action

Tips: By now, the potential candidate has gained interest in the job based on the information you’ve provided in the public health nurse job description. Take a moment to encourage them to act on their motivation by including an “apply now” button. You may also want to provide information about what to expect next, such as a call from a recruiter or a telephone interview.


Ready to be an integral part of our Health Department team? Apply now to start your career as a public health nurse. If your experience is a fit, you can expect to hear from one of our recruiters within 24 hours.

Need to Fill Nursing Positions Quickly?

A well-crafted public health nurse job description helps attract the most uniquely qualified nurses into your open positions. Find more ways to fill open positions quickly by partnering with IntelyCare.