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Public Health Nursing

Nurse gives a shot in the arm to a young boy. Public health nursing supports DHEC's mission to promote and protect the health of the public and the environment. Public health nurses develop policies; assess the health status of individuals, families and communities; plan, provide and evaluate direct care; provide education and counseling on health issues; coordinate services; and are consultants in specialized programs .

Public health nurses play a major role in all aspects of public health. These include:

  • Preventing illness and injuries
  • Stopping epidemics and spread of disease
  • Protecting the public from environmental hazards
  • Promoting and supporting healthy behaviors
  • Responding to disasters and assisting communities to recover
  • Assuring the quality and accessibility of health services
  • Informing the public of available services advocating for the individual, family, and community

A rewarding career

For more than 80 years, public health nursing has been a rewarding and professionally satisfying career. DHEC offers nursing practice that is flexible, autonomous, team oriented, and focused on the care of both individuals and populations. DHEC public health nurses have opportunities to work in clinics, homes, and other settings.

Image of healthcare providers. Text reads, What our nurses say about public health nursing: Public health nursing promotes holistic nursing care. The focus is on the entire individual and family.
When I came to DHEC, I knew I was making a difference in my community and helping people in their homes.
We serve people who are in need. They are grateful and thankful for everything you do for them.
I wanted to be a public health nurse because of the diverse services we can provide.Protecting public health

DHEC Public Health Nurses:

  • Teach healthy behaviors
  • Conduct health assessments
  • Set goals and measure outcomes of care with individuals, families, and communities
  • Provide high tech and personalized care in home settings
  • Participate as a member of a multidisciplinary team
  • Participate in epidemiological investigations
  • Develop partnerships with public and private groups
  • Work with community groups to develop health initiatives, coalitions, and other collaborative projects and
  • Actively participate in emergency preparedness activities.

Helping others

As a DHEC Public Health Nurse, you can work with:

  • Home bound individuals
  • Seniors
  • Reproductive age men and women
  • Infants and children
  • Health facilities, and
  • Community partners.

Your benefits

DHEC offers its public health nurses a full range of benefits and opportunities for professional development.

These include:

  • Individualized orientation
  • Continuing education programs
  • Professional organization involvement
  • Career advancement and development
  • Excellent leave plan that includes:  Accrual of 3 weeks paid vacation, 3 weeks paid sick leave, and 10 paid holidays per year starting 1st year of employment
  • Excellent retirement benefits
  • Investment options and
  • Flexible work schedules.

Join the DHEC family

Join us to see how you can make a difference, too! For more information, contact the State Office of Public Health Nursing at (803) 898-0800 or your Regional Nursing Director.

Visit to view job openings and apply.

Visit About DHEC to learn more about the agency, including our Board, Executive Management, organization, principles, what we do and our reports.

Recruitment resource

Most of the information on this page is found in our public health nursing recruitment brochure, Public Health Nursing: Making a Difference (pdf). You can print and distribute copies as needed.