New RN, looking ahead; MPH? - page 2
Hello all! I'm a new RN, stil in my first couple months on the floor. I'm settling in well enough, enjoying the work/coworkers (I work in med-surg/tele, this was my first choice after graduation... Read More
Sep 8, '12I would definitely recommend that you go for the BSN, mainly because you already have a bachelor's degree, and it's even in biology. With a BS in Biology, I believe you may have already completed the required biology classes for a BSN (for example - General Bio, Anatomy and Phys.1 & 2, Microbiology...). You may have even taken some chemistry, which is usually needed in BSN programs. You have completed general education courses as well. There may be a couple of courses you did not take through your BS in Biology (for example, Nutrition), but my guess is that you can probably concentrate mainly on the actually nursing courses if you go back to school for a BSN. Now, one benefit of getting an ADN is that it is usually a less expensive route since credits at a university/college tend to cost more than those at a 2-year institute such as community college. On that note, you would become a registered nurse while paying less. On the other hand, there are universities with considerably low tuition rates, as well as those that offer accelerated BSN programs if you already have a bachelor's degree in a different field. So, with all this said, you can decide which route is best for you. I recommend the BSN only because you have a BS in Biology which would knock out some of the courses you will have to take for your BSN. But if finances are a concern, community colleges can also provide very good RN programs that will prepare you to be a competent registered nurse. Hope that helps
Sep 10, '12RN-MS here who works as a PHN mainly in the disease control and prevention area of public health. I do some surveillance, disease investigations, outbreak response, TB case management/program oversight, & immunizations. If I wasn't drowning in student loan debt, I would go for the MPH with a focus in epidemiology-without hesitation. If I could go back, I probably would skip nursing school (Yikes! Did I type that out loud?). I would love to be an epi.
Sep 10, '12Quote from mariebaileyThank you OP for this thread and thank you mariebailey for your comment. I am a BSN and thinking of going MPH Too. I am older and love public health and do not think I could do a MSN right now. Yes OP do tell more as you find out. I am interested.RN-MS here who works as a PHN mainly in the disease control and prevention area of public health. I do some surveillance, disease investigations, outbreak response, TB case management/program oversight, & immunizations. If I wasn't drowning in student loan debt, I would go for the MPH with a focus in epidemiology-without hesitation. If I could go back, I probably would skip nursing school (Yikes! Did I type that out loud?). I would love to be an epi.
Oct 21, '12Hello,
I am currently in nursing school and will be graduating in May of 2013. I have several areas of interest within the nursing field, but I have found my true passion is public health. However, I am kind of stuck in a rut-- I want to pursue public health right after graduation and passing boards, but I am slightly scared that by not receiving the typical 'unit' experience may hinder my ability to move around some day (budget cuts, job loss, marketability, etc). Does anyone have advice as to the best approach? I am going to start applying in January to MPH programs around me to possible begin that next fall. How is going to school full time and working full time? Is it do-able?
Also, how does one receive their certification as a public health nurse? I keep researching, but feel that I am not running into the correct site/link to read more into it.
Lastly, is there any advice one maybe CEU's and/or free courses to take in specialty areas of MPH? I am interested in all specialty areas (epidemiology, infectious, policy, environmental, etc), but I am not sure which one I personally want to pursue.
Thank you very much!
Jul 6, '13RNuninformed-
I can relate. I figured it out in undergrad as well (BSN) that I am interested in population health.
No matter what you do, your license is invaluable. So is your experience. I served in the Peace Corps as a health adviser after working as a nurse in a correctional facility for about a year and a half. That experience you have is critical when you get into your graduate program, because the world of PH is large and often undefined, and you need to know what you want to get from it. That said, it will be difficult for me to find a job if I decide to return to clinical nursing. Something to consider.
The other RNs in my program are duals, MPH/MSN who will all become NPs. This makes it even harder to figure out where RNs fit in PH. From what I have seen, those who are in public health but really defined as nurses are leaders in local state health clinics. Otherwise you will find something else where your nursing knowledge can be of use, or just help you compete with the many others who just have an MPH (I know several people who decided to get their nursing license AFTER grad school- you will have an advantage over them).
Since you're interested in Epi, check out EIS. They are the rock stars of public health. Usually they only accept applicants with PhDs, unless you are a health professional. That means you could apply right after grad school. I met an RN this year in EIS, and the work she has done is unbelievable. And she loves it.
Jul 7, '13I have an MPH and also an RN. It's been difficult getting the MPH positions I desire because I don't have that clinical experience. I was offered a job as a clinic manager of a women's health clinic (dream job!!) but because I didn't have the hospital bedside experience, I was turned down. Definitely go for the MPH and the BSN, but get your clinical experience as well. You can always go back to bedside until your dream job comes around...
Jul 11, '13I'm a new nurse (with less than 1 year experience) who changed careers. I have my BSN and also thinking about my future in nursing. Currently, I'm on an acute care unit that is fast-paced. The rare times that I get to spend some time talking with my patients, I feel happiest being a nurse. How much experience in the clinical setting is considered "enough"?
Apr 19, '14Quote from troop949I graduated with my MPH in Epidemiology in 2011. I had a hard time finding a job out of grad school. I did a couple internships but quickly realized I needed to find a paying job in the field. State jobs were dealing with budget cuts, hiring freezes, etc, on top of not paying very well for ph jobs. Federal and private sector jobs wanted experience beyond what I had coming out of grad school. I felt stuck and very frustrated at my options. During my job searches, I kept seeing openings for RNs. After a while, I realized the benefits of having some clinical experience/degree in combination with the MPH. At that point, I decided to go to RN school because I didn't know what else to do. After heavy research on schools and a couple attempts, I got into RN school. I'm happy to say that I just graduated RN school and passed my boards. I know the sky is the limit know. I'm happy that I made the sacrifices and went to RN school. Job prospects are a lot better now that I have the RN license with the MPH. I;m currently at the CDC. God is good!I hadn't really considered "marketability"; I've always had a desire to provide health services to people. Unfortunately, as an epidemiologist, I wasn't able to do that - it was very much a desk job! Interesting work, mind you, but I was becoming bored with it. I *heart* infectious diseases (LOL), and I did do some work as an ID epi. Not anything like you see in the movies "Outbreak" or "Contagion"; mostly data analysis of systems hospitals/health depts. use to report notifiable diseases to CDC.
I'm a little torn, though, because I also have experience in surveillance of chronic diseases and developed a strong desire to work in health promotion because of that. So, I'm going back and forth about whether I want to be an infectious disease nurse or a public health nurse!:spin:
My focus was epidemiology (with a concentration in infectious disease epi). Lots of stats, obviously, but it was very interesting! A few of my friends got their MPH degrees in biostats.
I had a HARD time finding work right out of school with my MPH. Most PH jobs are associated with state/local/Federal government, and there were hiring freezes across the board after I graduated. I wound up working in retail for several months after I graduated, LOL. The microbiology degree wasn't exactly marketable, either. I think the combination of an RN and MPH will make you a more viable candidate; you could certainly find gov't work, but it would depend on how well the Feds are funding PH positions at the time. As MBARNBSN stated, PH departments utilize RN/MPHs to direct many health promotion/disease prevention programs - however, you'd likely need years of RN experience to bag a position like that. All that said, I'm not 100% sure of where I'll land once I get my BSN, but I'm going to be optimistic. I am keeping my options open.
Apr 19, '14Quote from Ria28I also have my MPH and just recently became a RN. How much clinical experience is recommended before leaving bedside for MPH positions because I have little interest in doing bedside for longI have an MPH and also an RN. It's been difficult getting the MPH positions I desire because I don't have that clinical experience. I was offered a job as a clinic manager of a women's health clinic (dream job!!) but because I didn't have the hospital bedside experience, I was turned down. Definitely go for the MPH and the BSN, but get your clinical experience as well. You can always go back to bedside until your dream job comes around...
Apr 27, '14Hi, in response to the original question, there are so many routes to go into prevention and public health areas! I know little about other paths but I can tell you about my path if it helps to give you an example of public health nursing. First in terms of education, I changed my major from modern dance to a BSN program so it took me 6 years to graduate college lol. That being said I know I wanted to work for a few years as an RN before pursuing graduate school. I personally always had a passion for maternal child health, and I did my senior preceptorship in postpartum/well baby where I did a ton of discharge teaching, and I agree that was the best part! After getting my BSN and PH certification, and after a loooooong, I landed a position with the county maternal child adolescent health department. I cannot express how much I love my job!!! It's a whole new passion I've discovered about the importance of health education, and I love being able to provide that one on one to my clients without being in a rush to see another patient. I work with the very most low income low educational level vulnerable populations. In my job, I visit pregnant women and babies under 1 year old. I don't wear and I come to their house and we mostly just talk for 1 to 2 hours. In pregnancy I weight them and take their blood pressure and I do a brief verbal assessment for any concerning s/sx. But my main job is education. I tell them what's normal in pregnancy, when to call their OB, and when to go to the ER. I teach them a lot of preventive health stuff like nutrition, how to read food labels, importance of dental care, all sorts of stuff. I'm there to answer their questions, and I help them ensure they have access to medical care such as insurance problems, or how to sign up for insurance. I'm often helping with social factors like finding low income housing, low income child care, WIC services, and all sorts of complex situation like a teen whose parents just abandoned her and she couldn't get insurance and therefore prenatal care, she can't enroll in high school due to no parental signature, etc etc. when I go see the babies I talk to them a lot about development and what activities to do with their baby to ensure optimal development. I do developmental assessments and if I have concerns I get them connected to specialists. We talk a lot about feeding, introducing solid foods, safety, importance of vaccines, etc. and so much more I'm not listing here. I also weight the babies and measure their length and head to ensure proper weight gain and growth. I see several clients with high risk pregnancies and high risk or special needs babies, and therefore spend a lot time educating them on their condition. Most days are good days but some days are very stressful and sometimes very emotional for me. I've only worked there for almost 5 months and I've had to file 2 CPS reports I've had to personally drive one girl and her baby to the ER for dehydration and weight loss and no BM in 7 days (long story short the ER sent her home that day but that baby was admitted 5 days later for failure to thrive, grrrrr). One time I had a girl call my cell phone on a Saturday when I was off work, experiencing mild postpartum psychosis and she was worried she may hurt her baby - it was a scary situation for me, and I'll wrap this up but that was a true emergency that I had to handle (don't worry she is doing much better and it feels amazing that I helped her get the immediate help she needs!) anywayzzzz sorry for the long post but you said you wanted details! Lastly, perks of the job include amazing benefits working for the county public health department, hours are M-F 8-4:30, all holidays off, make your own schedule of when and what time you want to see your clients. Hope that helps give you an idea of just one type of public health nurse in direct patient care. Good luck in whatever you pursue!
Apr 29, '14Thank you for that...very inspiring. I would like to do something very similar.
Once you finished nursing school, did you ever do bedside in a hospital setting, or did you go straight into the position at the health department?
Apr 30, '14@mia415 what a great post, I would love to do that job. What state is this in? How was the PH certification? I too am curious if you did other bedside nursing before this. Looking forward to hearing from you!
May 1, '14I was reading her other posts. I don't think she has done hospital bed side. I have met a Nurse of 30 years who has worked at the health department for 29 of those 30 years. She said she has no interest in bedside and hospitals. She has done international, mission trips, but mainly community health/health department projects, worked in implementing several federal health grants.