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Any thoughts on starting a PhD program at 53 years old? Thoughts about jobs, type of work, combining
and MBA and BSN with the PhD. I love health promotion and prevention. Any discussion would be appreciated!
A PhD in public health will help get a job in an academic setting - in my opinion, I think your years of experience as an RN count more for job promotion (outside of teaching) compared to a PhD. Nursing is like most fields - your experience, who you know, and being at the right place at the right time matter a lot more than a degree.
I know two people who are over 50 getting PhDs in nursing - they are both CNM and are doing the PhD to be able to slow down their practice time and spend more time teaching in a University masters program.
As far as combining the MBA - most of the nurses I know with an MBA do more managerial type of work. One person runs the operating rooms at a large community hospital in the Southeast, one is the director of research, and another nurse I know with an MBA is a service line manager. I can't see how a PhD would help them nor can I think of how you would combine what seems to me to be very different perspectives on healthcare.
Your interest in prevention and health promotion is great- but these kind of jobs don't tend to pay very much and are often filled by people with bachelors degrees in Health Education (at least at our state health department). I do have a friend who is in charge of the immunization program. She has a MPH and has worked for the State Health Dept for 12 years. She has held her current position for 3 years. She makes about 48K per year.
How difficult or easy it is to get into a PhD program in public health depends on the school and probably the pool of applicants they have for that year and where your research interests are.
Thank you so much Mags Mom, good info! Well I understand the jobs available for a nurse with an MBA but I don't want
to manage in nursing at all. My plan is to research, teach (community setting) and consult with companies on wellness
and strategy. Basically combining the MBA with Public health policy and then the nursing with the promotion/prevention
and also keep the nursing skills by doing some PRN. Eventually I want to research and publish in academic journals and
write a books for the masses!
A BSN, MBA, and Public Health PhD combination could open jobs in health care administration, research, and all types of work with government and non-governmental agencies dealing with community health both locally and internationally (What is Public Health? - Frequently Asked Questions). However, it can be difficult for someone with this combo to be admitted as tenured faculty in a school of nursing the reason being the absence of a nursing-related master's degree. Typically, state boards of nursing require a master's degree in a clinical area of nursing in order to teach nursing students. A doctoral degree is required by many institutions that award a BSN and above for tenure. However, many schools do not specifically require a PhD in Nursing, a doctoral degree in a related field such as public health is sometimes acceptable.
Thank You Juan, your answers are sooo insightful I truly appreciate your comments. As clarification, not planning on
getting a position in a school of nursing, maybe the school of public health but not nursing. Or maybe there is
a faculty position offered in another area, not sure but will have a discussion with the Director of the public health
program at the university and see what he says about all of it and will post when I know for others to see!