Difference Between Nursing Officer And Community Health Officer Posts

B.SC nursing candidates can apply for both Community Health Officer and Staff Nurse ( nursing officer) posts. Many candidates are confused between these two. Below we clarify the main differences.

Job Responsibilities


Staff Nurse/ Nursing Officer

Staff nurse are posted in hospitals and are primarily responsible for admitted patient care and nursing students training. On promotion to higher grade like nursing superintendent they are involved in healthcare management in hospitals.

Primary Job responsibilities of Staff Nurse or Nursing Officer are following:

  • Admission and discharge of patient.
  • Assistance and instructions to patient and their relations.
  • Bathing patients including daily care of mouth, nails and pressure points
  • Preparation and Distribution of diets, milk etc
  • Administration of medicine and injections
  • Rounds with doctor.
  • Preparation for and assistance in clinical tests and medical procedure.
  • Pre and postoperative care.
  • Collecting labeling and dispatching of specimens
  • Giving and receiving reports.

Community Health Officer

Community health officers are mostly posted at sub centres of rural areas. They are responsible for day to day

You are broadly expected to perform the following three functions
• Clinical functions to provide ambulatory(out-patient) care and management.
• Public health functions for health promotion, prevention and disease surveillance.
• Managerial functions for efficient functioning  of the Health and Wellness Centres.



 Staff nurses are posted in central government and state government hospitals. The salary of Staff nurse are according to pay level set by central or state government. In central government organisations Staff nurse are posted at Level 7 of pay matrix. In metros they draw starting  salaries more than 60000 Rupees per month. However some state government pay lesser salaries around 45000 Rupees per month. Salaries for contract posts are also low.

Community Health Officers are posted at rural sub centres under National Health Mission. Under Ayushman Bharat government has plans to create thousands of CHO posts in every state and upgrade these centres. These posts are contractual and salaries start at 25000 Rupees per month only.



Eligibility for Nursing Officer or Staff nurse posts is GNM or B.SC nursing. Experience about one year in 50 bedded hospital is also asked in most vacancies.

A Community Health Officer (CHO) would be a BSc in Community Health or a Nurse (GNM or B.SC) or an Ayurveda practitioner, trained and certified through IGNOU/other State Public Hcalth/Mcdical Universities for a set or competencies in delivering public health and primary health care services.



Staff nurses upon providing services for years can be promoted to higher nursing posts based on seniority and performance. They Career path could be Staff nurse (nursing officer) – sister in charge – Assistant Nursing superintendent (ANS) – Deputy Nursing Superintendent  – Nursing Superintendent – Chief Nursing Officer.

There are no defined promotion avenues for community health Officers as of now. However there salary will increase with time and performance.

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