Logo for the N.C. Credentialed Public Health Nurse course.

Key Dates

The next course dates are October 16-November 17, 2023 (Fall 2023). Prerequisite certificates must be uploaded to the course site between October 9 and October 13, 2023.

The course will also be offered February 19-March 22, 2024 (Spring 2024). Registration for the spring course will open in January.


Thank you for your interest in the North Carolina Credentialed Public Health Nurse Course. We have reached the registration limit for the October 16-November 17, 2023 course, and the waitlist is full. The next course will be held February 19-March 22, 2024. Registration for the next course will open in January. If you have any questions, please contact Course Director Lori Rhew at Lori.Rhew@unc.edu.

Course Overview

The NC Credentialed Public Health Nurse (NCCPHN) Course was built through a partnership between the Office of the Chief Public Health Nurse, state and local public health nurses, and the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, under the leadership of Chief Public Health Nurse Dr. Susan Haynes Little. This course provides access to current evidence-based fundamental public health and public health nursing information and supports our commitment to ensuring a strong and inclusive public health workforce. 

The goal of the NCCPHN course is for participants to demonstrate the foundational knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgements associated with the roles and functions of governmental public health nurses.

The five-week course will be provided online through on-demand modules and will require readings related to each subject area. There will be knowledge checks, a final knowledge assessment and a course evaluation.

Overview: North Carolina Credentialed Public Health Nurse Course

What will be included in the North Carolina Credentialed Public Health Nurse Course.

Registration Fee

Currently, there is no registration fee; however, registration is required.

Who Should Take the Course?

The NCCPHN course is open to all North Carolina state and local government PHNs of all education and experience backgrounds. The PHN will have the best learning experience if they have at least 6 months’ experience in the health department before starting the course. 

As described in administrative code 10A NCAC 46. 0301, all public health nurses shall either “have a nursing degree from a baccalaureate school accredited by the National League for Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or complete within one year of employment with the health department an introductory course in the principles and practices of public health and public health nursing sponsored by the Department.” The NCCPHN course can be completed to meet this requirement.

This course is only open to governmental public health nurses currently employed in a North Carolina local public health department or with the North Carolina DHHS Division of Public Health or Division of Child and Family Well-Being. We encourage all North Carolina PHNs who are interested in taking the course to talk with their direct supervisors before registering. The course is designed to be completed during work hours. Having a discussion with your supervisor beforehand will help ensure you are provided the dedicated time you need to successfully participate in and complete the course. Regardless of whether the course is taken to meet the NCAC requirement or for other professional development reasons, once the participant begins the course, their direct supervisor will be notified of the PHN’s enrollment and provided with the NCCPHN Supervisor’s Guide, which contains helpful hints and suggestions for how to support the PHN while they are completing the course.


All participants will be required to complete all five modules of the Introduction to Public Health in North Carolina Online Training Series prior to starting the course. The completion certificate for each module must be submitted prior to the NCCPHN course opening. Failure to submit the certificates on time will cause the participant not to be admitted into the course.

Course Book

The course is based on ANA’s 2022 Public Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd edition. All participants will receive electronic-only access to this book once they register for the course. If you would like a hard copy of the book, you can purchase an electronic or hard copy of the book from Amazon or the American Nurses Association.

Course Requirements

Participants must complete all required readings, all online modules and the course evaluation and achieve proficiency on the final knowledge assessment.

All nurses who successfully complete the course will be approved to use a credential title. Additional guidance on the approval and utilization of this distinction will be provided upon successful completion of the course.

Continuing Nursing Education/Contact Hours

Nursing continuing professional development contact hours will be awarded upon successful completion of the course.

The Public Health Nursing Institute for Continuing Excellence is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the North Carolina Nurses Association, an approver of continuing nursing education accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Course Providers

This course is provided by:

  • The North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) Office of the Chief Public Health Nurse (OCPHN) at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

The course is currently funded by a contract to NCIPH from NCDPH as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Public Health Workforce Development Initiative investment in North Carolina’s public health workforce.

For more information about the course, contact Lori Rhew, the course director, at Lori.Rhew@unc.edu.

For more information about the NCCPHN Program, please visit the For Local Health Departments webpage provided by the Local Technical Assistance & Training Branch and Office of the Chief Public Health Nurse.


Email us at nciph@unc.edu.
Meet Our Team
Sign Up for Our Mailing List
Follow Us on Facebook

135 Dauer Drive
221 Rosenau Hall, CB #8165
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8165
(919) 966-3309