RN-BSN or MPH?

  1. I will be finishing my diploma RN shortly and I'm torn between pursuing a BSN (on a part-time basis while I work full-time) or a master's degree in public health. I am enjoying nursing school, but I don't want to spend my career administering medications. Instead, I'm more interested in prevention and wellness. My ultimate goal is to work either as a traveling nurse at MY convenience and diversify with periods of time working abroad in developing countries (I was a Peace Corps volunteer) OR to work full-time abroad as a public health nurse. Thoughts?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    Do you have a previous BA/BS?
  4. by   FLAgal14
    Hi BPPITT

    I am doing the reverse of what you are doing right now. I currently have a MPH and am now going back to get a BSN (I'm not a RN right now, I have a BA in public health). As for your question - it all depends on what you want to do with a MPH - there are various fields to concentrate in. I was in the epidemiology track and I definately plan on using it in my future nursing career. There were a lot of nurses and nursing students in my public health classes - I think the two fields complement each other very well. But a MPH is expensive - I owe my second born to pay it off right now (my first born will be used to pay off my BA!). However, I believe most public health schools require for you to have a bachelors - I don't know if they make exceptions for nurses with ADN's or not - you may want to check into that. You sound like you ultimately want your BSN so I think you should go for that first and then your MPH - perhaps there is some program out there that you can get both. Sorry I don't have more answers for you - but good luck!!!
  5. by   brownrice
    Was having the MPH degree not marketable in you geographical area?
    This, ultimately is one of the reasons I have chosen the NP track, which I am currently in. I love epidemiology, prevention, etc. However, unless I was prepared to move to the capitol city of our state, and work with the State Department of Health, or to Atlanta to work for the CDC, it looked like my job prospects were very very slim indeed.

    So, to the OP, does this help at all? Do a search and look to see where the MPH jobs are located. If you don't mind moving, no problem. For me, it is VERY important to get to choose exactly where I will live. Small towns, clean air, clean water, no traffic or commuting are a priority for me.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 14, '06
  6. by   traumaRUs
    When considering any advanced degree, it is important that you have an idea what you want to do with it. It is no fun to invest $$$, time and energy and then have no job!

    Good luck - let us know what you end up doing!
  7. by   FLAgal14
    Quote from brownrice
    Was having the MPH degree not marketable in you geographical area?
    This, ultimately is one of the reasons I have chosen the NP track, which I am currently in. I love epidemiology, prevention, etc. However, unless I was prepared to move to the capitol city of our state, and work with the State Department of Health, or to Atlanta to work for the CDC, it looked like my job prospects were very very slim indeed.
    Brownrice you bring up some very good points. I did have a lot of trouble getting a public health job after I got my MPH. I got my MPH in Atlanta so I would've had no trouble getting a job there (since it is the "Public Health capital of the world"), but I moved instead with my boyfriend to Florida and there weren't too many jobs for me here (and the ones that they did have didn't pay well). I'm currently doing something that is public health related although it's not strictly epi (it's more behavioral science epi work), but I had do to a lot of searching for it. I agree wholeheartedly with your points and that is something that the OP will seriously need to consider, that and what the OP would like to do with a MPH and if it's worth the extra money.
  8. by   BPPITT
    Thank you for all the good advice! I have a BA, but it's in music. :wink2: I'm leaning more towards getting my BSN because it's the one option that I can finish on a part-time basis while I'm fulfilling my two-year employment obligation. I debating between a classroom-based program or an online program. I'm finding it difficult to accept parting with A LOT of money for the BSN and rarely interacting with an instructor or classmates. After studying opera, I wanted a career where I could help people as well as satisfy my lust for travel. An MPH would make me more marketable for positions abroad.

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