Career opportunities for an RN/MPH - other than PHN?

  1. 1 Hello everyone,

    I have an MPH (in infectious disease epi; BS in microbiology) and am currently hoping to get into an accelerated BSN program. My past work experience in PH has been primarily in chronic disease surveillance, at the state government level; I also have a couple years experience as an infectious disease epi at CDC. Through my state PH work, I'm familiar with the role of PHN, but I'm wondering: what else is out there for an RN with an MPH degree? I have a strong interest in community health and prevention, and I'm trying to get an idea of what specialties to explore (assuming I'm accepted into the ABSN program, ha!).

    Any school nurses out there? Infection control? Anyone employed by an insurance company/hospital to do work site wellness activities? What's it like out there for an RN/MPH? I know PH jobs are hard to find these days, as gov't funding dries up, but I'm hoping that will change in the near future as the healthcare system focuses more on disease prevention.

    Thanks for any and all input!
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  3. Visit  troop949 profile page

    About troop949

    From 'Atlanta, GA'; 39 Years Old; Joined Feb '11; Posts: 176; Likes: 46. You can follow troop949 at LinkedIn

    20 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  troop949 profile page
    0
    Bump....anyone? Anyone? Bueller.....Bueller...?
  5. Visit  Jess793B profile page
    0
    I'm wondering the same thing too, Troop949!
  6. Visit  sourapril profile page
    0
    Just wondering if you are in a nursing program or graduated and have a job... I know some people with a BSN and MPH got hired to do infection control, nurse epidemiologist, and research in both hospitals and local health department.
  7. Visit  troop949 profile page
    0
    Hi sourapril! I just messaged you back, BTW.

    I'm now entering my final semester of my accelerated BSN program. Just starting out job hunting. I would love to have something lined up before graduation in December! I've seen a few public health nurse positions in my area (county health depts.), so that may be an option. I've also seen some infection control jobs, but they require certification. My dilemma would be that "1 year of experience" most positions seem to call for. I'd rather jump right into a public health/research nurse position right out of school, but that may or may not happen. I have the opportunity to network with some people over the next two weeks who can better answer that question for me. I'm also looking into hospital RN positions for new grads.
  8. Visit  klone profile page
    0
    Do you like maternal/child health? I would look into Nurse-Family Partnership (that's my dream job, except that the pay is so poor).
  9. Visit  kt180 profile page
    0
    troop949 - Did you find anything?
  10. Visit  troop949 profile page
    0
    Interviewed for a position as a county public health nurse last week, which went well. I have decided that public/community health nursing is, in fact, what I want to do. Hospital nursing is great, but it's not the best fit for me.
  11. Visit  scoope23 profile page
    1
    Quote from troop949
    Interviewed for a position as a county public health nurse last week, which went well. I have decided that public/community health nursing is, in fact, what I want to do. Hospital nursing is great, but it's not the best fit for me.
    How is your experience going so far as a county public health nurse? I completed my MPH in epidemiology a few years ago and decided to go to RN school afterwards. I recently graduated, passed boards and became a RN. I'm trying to get a feel for all the options out there for someone who has a RN/MPH combo
    troop949 likes this.
  12. Visit  troop949 profile page
    2
    I've been hired on for a county PHN position, but I haven't actually started yet, scoope23. However, I am excited about the opportunity! I will be starting out as the immunization nurse for this particular clinic, then I will be cross-trained on STD treatment/management.

    As far as other opportunities for an RN/MPH, during my job search, I've found it to be hit-or-miss. I really think it depends on the area of the country you're living/working in, though. I'm in the metro Atlanta area, and the only RN/MPH positions I've seen are for hospital infection prevention - which would be great, but you need at least 2 years of infection control experience for the positions. Even at the state PH department or Federal (CDC) level, I haven't seen many opportunities in my geographic region; the ones I *have* seen require extensive nursing experience (which I can understand). However, I've seen more job postings for RN/MPHs in the Northeast/New England regions. Honestly, I think most employers aren't quite sure what to do with someone who is a nurse with an MPH....they either want you to JUST be a nurse, or JUST be an epidemiologist! PH nursing is, I think, the best specialty to make use of both of your skillsets.
    scoope23 and klone like this.
  13. Visit  klone profile page
    4
    Ah, STIs! That's a big part of my life. The midwives I work with have nicknamed me the "grim reaper of relationships" because I have to call up these women and tell them that they have chlamydia or gonorrhea (and usually, in the notes from the encounter, it says something like "in monogamous relationship, happy"). I now have a policy that I don't make the STI phone calls on Friday. I let them have the weekend before I ruin their relationship.
  14. Visit  troop949 profile page
    0
    LOL klone, good strategy! I'm really looking forward to my role in administering immunizations - that's one of my public health passions. I'm a huge advocate for immunizations and primary prevention of diseases. The STI role will be a bit new for me, but it will be so fulfilling to be able to have an influence on the reduction of STI rates in Georgia. We kind of scrape the bottom of the barrel in that area. *sigh*

    *And forgive me, I really should have said "STIs" and not "STDs" in my previous post. I know better!
  15. Visit  scoope23 profile page
    1
    Quote from troop949
    I've been hired on for a county PHN position, but I haven't actually started yet, scoope23. However, I am excited about the opportunity! I will be starting out as the immunization nurse for this particular clinic, then I will be cross-trained on STD treatment/management.

    As far as other opportunities for an RN/MPH, during my job search, I've found it to be hit-or-miss. I really think it depends on the area of the country you're living/working in, though. I'm in the metro Atlanta area, and the only RN/MPH positions I've seen are for hospital infection prevention - which would be great, but you need at least 2 years of infection control experience for the positions. Even at the state PH department or Federal (CDC) level, I haven't seen many opportunities in my geographic region; the ones I *have* seen require extensive nursing experience (which I can understand). However, I've seen more job postings for RN/MPHs in the Northeast/New England regions. Honestly, I think most employers aren't quite sure what to do with someone who is a nurse with an MPH....they either want you to JUST be a nurse, or JUST be an epidemiologist! PH nursing is, I think, the best specialty to make use of both of your skillsets.
    I'm happy for you and your new opportunity!
    I actually live in the Atlanta area as well, so this feedback is even more valuable! I haven't figured out the career route I want to take just yet, but I know I want to be able to include epi in whatever I do. I'm even debating about going for the MSN.
    Last edit by scoope23 on Apr 21, '14
    troop949 likes this.


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