MPH/BSN-RN Career with a MSW degree Question!

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I am in need of your expertise within the field of Nursing and Public Health! I have recently graduated with a MSW and I am thinking about pursing an Accelerated BSN program because I really want to pursue nursing and combine my knowledge of human behavior with the science of nursing. However, I am also interested in Public Health because I want to know more about preventive measures of HIV/AIDs, Obesity, and Diabetes within high risk populations. I want to know should I pursue only the nursing degree or only the MPH degree or should I pursue both? Is this feasible? Also, are there programs that provide a RN/MPH dual degree?

    Thank you in advance!

  2. Visit fisherpe profile page

    About fisherpe

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 23; Likes: 6
    Specialty: N/A


  3. by   KFoss
    I don’t know if you are still looking for a response for this post but I thought I would at least point you in a direction incase you have not found what you were looking for. There are programs out there for people with a degree in a non-nursing profession to get a MPH and be able to sit for the NCLEX. I don’t know where you live but in WA there is Seattle U.
    This is one of the avenues I am looking at since I am similar to you but you have the better degree for it. I only have the MA in psychology with a concentration in mental health counseling. I would imagine that the MSW would be fantastic as a complement to the nursing and MPH.
  4. by   fisherpe
    Thank you for your response and feedback on the options out there for someone who wants to become a nurse! Are you thinking about going into the profession as well?
  5. by   tishluvnc
    I'm about to graduate with a BA in sociology and wondering if I should also get a MSW, MPH, or BSN. I see my self counseling patients, providing health education, health promotion but most of all working in health. If I was to do MSW I would have to go all the way to become a LCSW. However, I read the discription of what a public health nurse does and I feel that is me. I have about five moths for graduation and don't know which I should do. I like all those degrees just feel that with a BSN you could do all that and more. Just have to get over the fear of chemistry.
  6. by   fisherpe
    Hi tishluvnc,

    Thanks for replying to this thread that I have originally posted earlier! It's funny how you are determining your interests within nursing because I just have spoken with a nurse who has been in the field for many years and she LOVES it!!!

    I'm want to say that it sounds to me that nursing would be your best option since you want to provide counseling to patients, provide health education and promotion and work within the health field! Nursing will allow you to do that and so much more, based on many experiences that nurses have shared with me!!!! Just like you, I have my fears of the sciences and the pre-reqs that one has to take before pursing the BSN degree. However, again many nurses in the field have shared their fears and frustrations and have told me that if they can endure the pre-reqs and the program, then anyone can! Some nurses have told me that they themselves have had anxiety pursuing the degree due to the science courses but if you are willing to learn and see yourself being passionate at helping patients, then you will get through the program!!! I don't want sound like I'm persuading you, but I just feel so strongly about this profession because its like its calling me !

    Also, I have a similar background like you...I have a BA in Psych and I have a MSW and working on obtaining my LSW. Even though I enjoy the field of social work...I find myself asking if this is what I want to do for the rest of my life? I am a psychotherapist at a community mental health agency and I enjoy counseling clients. However, the paperwork and the amount of responsibility for each individual client has been emotionally and mentally taxing for me and many other workers within the field. The economy has also played its role in limiting opportunities for social workers and have limited our role to only counseling and/or traditional social work with high burn out rate due to loaded responsibilities with low pay and benefits! I have had many of my colleague tell me that the have been trying to obtain better paying jobs or jobs that they really wanted but experienced being denied or ignored when applying to positions. However, based on several experiences from nurses, even though the job market is tough...hospitals and various business within healthcare are hiring nurses.Nurses are need within the field!!!

    I just wanted to share my experience with you and hope that in whatever you decide to do you will choose which path to follow that feels RIGHT to you!

    Good luck in your future endeavors and if can be of any help of sharing knowledge and/or words of encouragement please let me know!
  7. by   soso
    Hi....just wanted to share my experience. I also have a BA in Sociology, concentration in social services. I was working for about 5.5 yrs at the welfare dept in California and I decided that I wanted to become a Public Health nurse , specifically! So, I applied to an ADN program in Texas (due to long waitlisting in Cali). Graduated in Dec 2009 took my NCLEX in May 2010 (was working fulltime @ the welfare office the whole while in school) and received my license. Bad timing for me! It was soo hard finding a job. The new grad programs were soo few and competitive to get into unless you knew somebody who knew somebody and the "good" hospitals only wanted BS Nurses. Plussss, everyone was crying about having 6mo-1yr med-surg experience (duh, new grad here)!!
    Some states are more social service friendlier than others (Texas not being one of them) and the only jobs were at the health department, which is where I wanted to be, but budget cuts meant hiring freezes; definitely couldn't go back to California. Eventually, got hired working with psych/developmentally disabled individuals for a year. Meantime, did a two semester BSN program and graduated this past May. Recently got hired as a case manager at a health insurance company; coordinating care (patient education, health promotion, authorizing benefits for unmet needs like hrs for home health, medical equipment, community resources, etc.) for our Medicare/Medicaid members (funny because I used to be a Medicaid worker previously!!). Sooo, it's a mix of "public health" nursing (just no more clinical work) and social services. My BSN wasn't required but I'm glad I did it. I'm planning on doing the MPH program. Thought about the MSW but it seems a little too limiting to me in the sense that it really doesn't involve the "health" aspect (health promotion, education, planning, implementing, or evaluating community/health programs).
    My advice to anyone going the nursing route would be to do the BSN program. There has been a lot of talk of making this the minimal requirement now. Since you have your BA, you could do either an accelerated BSN program (1yr..caution, do not work at all!!) or the traditional 2 yr program. Question is do you want to actually practice nursing (clinically) or do more health eduation/promotion? You could go directly into a MPH program, get a feel for it then decide if nursing is still calling you. Check out the various CEPH accredited MPH programs in your state ( Don't let the sciences/chemistry scare you, like studying for the GRE annoys me :grn: !! Best wishes!!
  8. by   fisherpe
    Thank you so much Soso...I couldn't agree more! BSN degree route is the way to go!!!!
  9. by   tishluvnc
    Wow! thank you all for responding to my post. This was my first time ever posting anything and I have gotten so much good information. It trips me out that I have been googling all this time questions about nursing when all I had to do was join this site. I finally have found a group of people who know what they are talking about and have time to talk.

    Time is running out on me and i feel I have to do something quick, 'either study for the GRE or begin taking the pre-req for nursing. I am leaning more towards the nursing just because I love learning about health and wellness of people. I was also wondering about the pre-reques, has anyone taken chem and anatomy at the same time? or is it better to take it separate. I ask because I have to take 4 classes for the ADN, 2 Chem and 2 A&P. I have completed the other couple of liberal arts/social science classes with my BA in sociology. I was wondering how hard would it be for me to take chem and A&P together? If I take them together I could be finished in 2 semesters. Or is that too heavy still? I work as a CNA now part-time however, after I graduate I wanted to find something that pay more, but will still allow me to complete my classes. How hard is it to take pre-reques and work at the same time. I know during nursing school they don't advise it, but what about for the classes.
  10. by   soso
    Wow, 2 chem classes for an ADN program?? Do you have to take Microbiology and Nutrition? You probably could just do BSN, sounds like the same requirements! Anywho, it depends on how strong you are with your sciences and your lifestyle. For me, I was working FT and living on my own so it would've been too much. Plus, my old brain would only allow one concept at a time ! Surprisingly, I ended up with A's in A&P, and B's in Chem/Micro. I'd just say pace yourself. You don't want to end up having to retake the classes over and pushing back your goal.
  11. by   Amerae
    Hi all, thanks for the information I just read! I know I'm coming in on this quite a while later, but I was wondering what Fisherpe ended up deciding? Did you start working towards a BSN or MPH? I'm wondering what you guys think about my situation. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, and have been accepted into an MSW program for this fall 2012. Fisherpe I see you have an MSW already, do you think it was useful for you since you're now going to pursue other things as well? I began taking courses for nursing last year, Micro. and I took the CNA course so I'd be able to work as a CNA for a while but I haven't chosen to go take the state cert. test because I stumbled upon social work last fall and decided to apply to MSW programs. I basically wasn't ready to continue taking another year of pre-requisites and wasn't sure nursing was for me yet...I'm not exactly sure how to know, even after my CNA class because it was mainly with the elderly and I know nursing is SO much broader than that! So basically I'm set to go through a 2 yr. MSW program and I'm just wondering if you guys think this is nuts if I know in the back of my head that I might end up doing an ADN after that like in my 30s (I'm 27 now...)? I also want to have kids, and given my age and the stats that go along with childbearing, I figure with an MSW I'd be out sooner and able to work for a little while instead of the 3+ years it'd take me to do prerequisites and a nursing program. I'm not kidding about that 1 year making a diff. lol, for me having kids the sooner = the better, and the only thing stopping me is that I don't have a set career...aka I don't have a good savings/job security etc. I'm not so worried abt. MSW salary since here in LA there are a lot more jobs for MSW for around 35-40K starting and I can live with that for a while. Anyone have advice abt. how to know whether to go into nursing or not? I felt like after my CNA course I wouldn't be happy being an RN because I usually notice more of the "big picture" and noticed that I'd like to be able to help out with case management and also with a LCSW you can counsel. Anyways any input is much appreciated. Thanks for letting me rant lol!
  12. by   fisherpe
    hi amerae,

    thanks for replying to this post and sharing your experience as well! as for me, i am still considering nursing. however, i have just started a new position at a large university doing clinical research in hiv/subtance abuse prevention! since, i am here i am able to take classes through the university’s tuition reimbursement program. i have been told that i am not able to take science course (i.e. pre-reqs) due to time conflicts. however, i am planning on applying to their executive mph program where i can take classes part-time and earn this degree in two years virtually for free . also, while i'm working, i plan on taking my gre's in order to apply to bsn/msn programs because i want to specialize in psychiatric nursing and become a np! after two years of work experience and earning this degree, i plan on returning to school full-time to take the pre-reqs and work part-time. after that, i plan on applying to nursing programs. many professionals in the medical community (drs and psychnp’s) have supported me in pursuing a mph (more focus on community assessments, biostats, epi, and preventive measures and health policy) in addition to my strong clinical background with my msw. so, this is what i have been doing since the last post!

    i want to say that i share in your frustration for making hard set decisions about pursing nursing or another profession! i have been thinking about living my life and having fun vs going to school until i’m in my mid 30's. i know that you have been thinking about having a family and other personal things that will determine your ultimate decision! i wish you the best in all that you decide to do! the reason i chose to pursue nursing is because i truly like helping people and i want to gain more knowledge about the human body! i always like the field but have been intimidated by the sciences, which is why i have chosen psychology/social work as my undergrad/graduate degrees respectfully. now, i’m “older” and more focused to complete this goal .

    as a social worker, i also have witnessed how limiting the degree has been! i graduated from an ivy league institution, yet i have been only considered for one low paying, high stress case management/clinical therapist position! fellow colleagues of mine have also shared similar experiences and decided to return to school to pursue more "stable and rewarding" careers. i have spoken with individuals who are lcsw's and they have shared they have experienced limited opportunities with his or her background. i live on the east coast; it has been difficult finding decent paying professional jobs. i believe that the economy and the lack of respect for social workers have led me to be focused on pursing a nursing credential. i know for me, i want a career that is rewarding not only to me, but also to the individuals i serve. in addition, i want a career where i am able to provide for myself and a family (if i decide to have one later in life).

    good luck with all that you do amerae! stay focused and find what makes you happy both personally and professionally! i truly believe in whatever career you decide to pursue, you will be a great addition to the organization! social work and nursing needs people like us who care and make a difference in peoples’ lives.
    Last edit by fisherpe on Apr 18, '12 : Reason: misspelling
  13. by   hopefulkim99
    Vertu old post! Just curious how did pursuing the mph go? Do you still feel the need to earn a BSN? thanks!