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What Does it Take to Earn a Master’s Degree in Nursing in Public Healthcare?

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What Does it Take to Earn a Master’s Degree in Nursing in Public Healthcare?

It is rewarding to earn a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN), which has a public health focus. This will allow you to make a positive impact in your community, and help shape your future in healthcare. An advanced pathway to an MSN is public health nursing. This allows students to learn about diseases and healthcare vulnerabilities in a variety of populations. It also teaches them how Public Healthcare access affects community well-being. An MSN in Public Health Nursing is a degree that prepares students to work with communities and to conduct field research and to identify risk factors to improve health and solve problems. What information should you learn about obtaining your MSNin public health nursing degree? Let’s find the answers!

How do I apply for an MSN in Public Health Nursing?

There are different requirements for each program. The prerequisites for prospective MSN students are generally a bachelor’s in Nursing with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. MSN applicants typically need to have an active RN licence. The applicant must write a personal essay detailing their goals for nursing and meet with the program director to complete the interview. Goodwin University does NOT require applicants submit GRE scores. It is highly recommended that you have two years of nursing experience.

What curriculum should I expect to learn?

An MSN with a concentration in public health will be able to pursue career-oriented coursework within this area. Goodwin’s MSN program focuses on population and health. The program is 30-credit and can be completed in 20 months. An online curriculum has no class times. This is the beauty of an online program. Online courses can be taken at your own pace, whenever you’re available.


Classes can include both clinical and theoretical work.

  • Policy and Politics – What are the origins of health care policies? This course explores the interconnectedness of politics and advocacy in their development. How can nurses ensure leaders adopt an ethical approach? This knowledge will help the next generation nurses to be more effective activists.
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice – This three-part clinical class prepares students to perform advanced practice nursing duties. Pharmacology deals with the distribution and use of medications. It also includes cultural and economic nuances. Pathophysiology helps students understand the causes and consequences of various illnesses. Physical Assessment covers advanced techniques to evaluate diverse patients. It also includes holistic and comprehensive perspectives across life.
  • Theoretical foundations of public health – What is the distribution of quality and costs for health care services to different areas and socioeconomic groups in different places? This course on population theory focuses on the planning of population health projects, collecting data and analyzing the results.

The best part is that credits earned at Goodwin University’s MSN can easily be transferred to specialized areas or doctoral programs, should graduates wish to further their career!

What career opportunities are open to those with a MSN (Master of Science in Public Health)?

An MSN education in nursing can give nurses more options for career advancement. RNs with an MSN or in population health could find employment in:

  • Hospitals
  • The government sector
  • Regional or state health departments
  • Nursing homes and residential care facilities
  • Universities
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Offices of physicians

Nurses with a master’s in nursing are able to provide care to the most vulnerable people in these settings. The nurses have extensive Public Healthcare knowledge of population health and work with local and regional governments and policy-making agencies to improve the lives and well-being of those they serve. MSN public health nurses play an important role, in addition to providing treatment, they also serve as advocates, educators, and partners.

An advanced MSN degree in public health can also offer leadership potential for graduates. These could include becoming Nurse Managers or Community Health Directors or Nurse Education Specialists. An MSN in population and health management can lead to a salary of $101,340 annually according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For the position of Medical and Health Services manager, you will need to have experience in a clinical or administrative role as well as a master’s degree with coursework in management and leadership in healthcare. The Goodwin University MSN program fulfills all of these requirements.

What does this degree offer in comparison to other MSN/MPH degree options?

A MSN with a focus on public health is different than other MSN programs. It has a wider educational scope, a longer program, more credit, and a different curriculum. Look at programs like the Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP), or the Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP). The PMHNP program prepares students in diagnosing, advocating for, and treating patients with acute and chronic psychiatric issues. The 50 credits needed to be a PMHNP take seven semesters. FNP training focuses on educating nurses to promote holistic health throughout the lifespan of patients. FNP students can earn 47 credits in 27 months of continuous study and part-time. The MSN program is available at a faster pace of 20 months and students can earn 30 credits. Potential MSN students should take into consideration the difference in population health.

If public health is your main passion, you might be Public Healthcare considering the MSN in population Health or the Master’s in Public Health. The MPH can be completed in between 12-15 months using an accelerated format and students will earn 42 credits. Consider whether you want to do research, clinical work or policy-writing. Is it more important to work directly with patients or data collection after your master’s? These questions will help you decide if the MSN or MPH path is right for you.

Additional Resource:
https://www.apha.org/what-is-public-health
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health
https://www.cdcfoundation.org/what-public-health

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