Public health nurse Educator? Needing MSN/MPH?

  1. Hi everyone!

    I am an RN currently working on labour and delivery unit at a hospital.... and I am interested in going into Public Health like many of you!! - True, I am burnt out and tired of acute care of LDR, but I've always been interested in public health nursing and believed in importance of health prevention and promotion. Also, who wouldn't like regular hours with NO night shifts?!!

    I know it wouldn't be so easy going into public health and I haven't put my foot into this field just yet, but I was wondering if taking MSN or MPH/MSN would help advance my role in public health in the future? I plan to take master program within a few years, and this really got me thinking...

    I've always thought about doing MSN in education since I have passion in teaching. Other than teaching nursing students for their public health rotation, what else would I be able to do with MSN? Is there Nurse Educator on public health unit as well? Would MSN in management be a better option in public health? I am also interested in administrative aspect of public health as well... for instance, assessing, reviewing and implementing a protocol/policy in public health with other teams, etc. (I actually don't know what "advanced" roles are there in public health that is beyond RN with BSN - What other roles are there??) In this case, would dual degree of MPH/MSN be useful?


    Thank you all for reading and I hope I can get some replies to answer my questions!!!

    Cheers
    ~Poopyhair
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   SiwanRN
    Quote from poopyhair
    Hi everyone!

    I am an RN currently working on labour and delivery unit at a hospital.... and I am interested in going into Public Health like many of you!! - True, I am burnt out and tired of acute care of LDR, but I've always been interested in public health nursing and believed in importance of health prevention and promotion. Also, who wouldn't like regular hours with NO night shifts?!!
    It's true, public health is pretty sweet.

    Quote from poopyhair

    I know it wouldn't be so easy going into public health and I haven't put my foot into this field just yet, but I was wondering if taking MSN or MPH/MSN would help advance my role in public health in the future? I plan to take master program within a few years, and this really got me thinking...
    In the county public health departments I have worked for, one generally needed a master's degree (either MSN in varying concentrations or an MPH) to be a supervisor or otherwise move up the ranks, if you will. However, in a more rural location, a BSN may suffice for these leadership positions.


    Quote from poopyhair

    I've always thought about doing MSN in education since I have passion in teaching. Other than teaching nursing students for their public health rotation, what else would I be able to do with MSN? Is there Nurse Educator on public health unit as well? Would MSN in management be a better option in public health? I am also interested in administrative aspect of public health as well... for instance, assessing, reviewing and implementing a protocol/policy in public health with other teams, etc.
    I haven't seen any Nurse Educator positions in public health. Some health departments might have an education coordinator, but this role is less about staff competencies than it is coordinating all the contracts for schools that want to send their students to the health department for a rotation. For example, our educational coordinator works with two of the many BSN /accelerated BSN programs in the metro area where we are located to design public health rotations for their nursing students, FNP/WHNP/CNM students who need a gyn rotation in the family planning clinic, family medicine residents from a local hospital program who want to learn how to place IUDs and Nexplanons and do colposcopies and vasectomies, and MPH students from the local public health schools who need a practicum placement. I can see how an MSN in nurse education would be helpful in this role, but the person in this role where I work is an RN with an MPH.

    As to which master's degree program or concentration would be best for you, I think it would clarify what it is you actually want to do before embarking on graduate school, as that will help you decide which educational track is best suited to the role you want. You should also, if possible, consider the trends in the part of the country where you want to work. Where I am, it seems that any master's degree will do for someone who wants to be a supervisor or program manager. Somewhere else, they may only want MPHs or MSNs or even doctoral degrees. If you are interested in the administrative side of things, then an MSN in leadership would probably align most with your desires.

    As for myself, I am about halfway done with an MPH degree. I chose an MPH program over an MSN because I feel it is a more versatile degree for doing things in public health. Where I am located, it also seems to be more prevalent than MSN degrees amongst younger members of the workforce (the age bracket I belong to). Being middle management holds no appeal at all to me, but with an MPH I could coordinate a program, do a community assessment, design and execute a public health intervention, do program evaluations to measure the impact a program has, conduct research (not biomedical necessarily, but I could design a cohort or case-control study, etc), do epidemiologic investigations, etc. Looking to my career goals (work for the CDC perhaps in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, maybe transition from public health to global health at some point), an MPH makes the most sense for me.

    Quote from poopyhair
    (I actually don't know what "advanced" roles are there in public health that is beyond RN with BSN - What other roles are there??) In this case, would dual degree of MPH/MSN be useful?


    Thank you all for reading and I hope I can get some replies to answer my questions!!!

    Cheers
    ~Poopyhair
    Other advanced roles might include a nurse epidemiologist, program manager, supervisory roles, health policy analyst, or nurse practitioners working in a clinical role in clinical services (family planning, HIV, STDs, tuberculosis perhaps), etc. There is of course the nebulous "public health nurse consultant" role that I can't quite grasp myself because I don't know anyone with that job title, but I've heard of it.

    Best of luck to you! Come to the dark side in public health!! (insert evil laugh here)
  4. by   Providence60
    Expanding our education for focusing more on what we are most passionate about is a wise move as we move along our life and a career. While traditional degree programs are required for most educational and institutional positions, there are other options as well for helping people learn to be healthier. I am not talking about coaching programs, for these are unregulated and credentialed at this time. I am referring to programs which have done the work of becoming nationally credentialed educational programs for delivering patient and health education. Reading the testimonials of esteemed professionals in the healthcare field about the National Institute of Whole Health students and programs (Testimonials | National Institute of Whole Health) reflects how patient education is not only desirable, but essential in today’s world of healthcare. What gives an advanced educational degree validity and value in the professional world is that the degree program is accredited by a recognized nationally credentialing body. I chose to signup for the National Institute of Whole Health patient health education and advocacy program as it is the only such program nationally accredited by a recognized nationally credentialing body-the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE). Such accreditation matters to me having been raised by parents who were both teachers and deeply believed in both education as well as certified standards of practice. The world of healthcare may be changing but standards still matter! Good luck in your quest to evolve your service as a healthcare professional.
  5. by   poopyhair
    Thank you Siwan!

    It was a very through and thoughtful comment I received regarding the my topic!
    You are right. I need to see where I would really like to focus on first... Education or Public Health? I have not experienced myself in Public Health Nursing yet, so my plan is to get my foot into the field first and see how it goes.... Wish me luck!

    And thank you for your comment once more!

    Cheers,
    Poopyhair
  6. by   poopyhair
    Thank you for your comment Providence60!
    I shall take your advice to make my decision in the future!!

    Cheers,
    Poopyhair
  7. by   SiwanRN
    Quote from poopyhair
    Thank you Siwan!

    It was a very through and thoughtful comment I received regarding the my topic!
    You are right. I need to see where I would really like to focus on first... Education or Public Health? I have not experienced myself in Public Health Nursing yet, so my plan is to get my foot into the field first and see how it goes.... Wish me luck!

    And thank you for your comment once more!

    Cheers,
    Poopyhair
    Keep us updated in your job hunt. Good luck!

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