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Public Health Nursing

Samantha Baker

Samantha Baker, RN, BSN / Public Health Nursing

How did you prepare for Public Health Nursing?...

Public Health has been my first career post graduation, but I believe I was uniquely prepared, thanks to my background in nutrition as well as many years spent as a home health CNA. As a maternal-child health nurse, I primarily complete home visits. Going into the home can be downright intimidating, and I believe having comfort with completing home visits [as a CNA] was vastly helpful.

What is your favorite aspect of Public Health Nursing?

My favorite part of my job is that I am able to do so much for my community. I serve as chairs for various coalitions (and I am a member of many more) aimed at promoting community health. Not only do I support at the individual/family level, but I also have the opportunity to serve at a population level. I also love supporting breastfeeding mothers with my training as a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC).

What is the biggest challenge in Public Health Nursing?

This is going to sound cliché, but funding definitely seems to be a major barrier in the Public Health Nursing world. Many of the clients that benefit from public health services are low-income and have many more challenges than strictly financial. Public health has really opened my eyes to the "cycle of poverty" and how integral it is for us as a nation (and especially as nurses!) to support those who need it most.

A little about Samantha Baker

We asked Baker if she had one favorite memory about being in UW Nursing's program: "I loved serving on the Student Nurses Association (SNA) board, and more specifically, had such a great time planning for homecoming activities in 2015. The senior board that year had written a homecoming-themed song, and it was a blast to get together to figure out our dance moves. I had never performed on a stage (well, not since elementary Christmas programs and such), so it was a fun way to step out of my comfort zone and get closer with other nursing students."


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