Jump to content

Any BSNs who went for an MPH?

321kza 321kza (New) New

I'm a Canadian RN BSN who is looking into an MPH (by distance education). I have heard that an MSN would be more useful but I am so so so interested in epidemiology that when comparing the courses between the two I cringe just looking at the MSN program. I think a joint MSN/MPH would be ideal but there aren't any in Canada (and I'd like to pay domestic tuition so I'm not considering US schools).

Are there any RNs out there who went and got their MPH and are happy they did? Did it open up more doors for you? I don't need it for a public health nursing job since a BSN is enough, but I'd love to be eligible for more jobs and more responsibility in the community health/epidemiology/social policy realm.


brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

I've seen people on here trying to become an RN after getting an MPH because they couldn't get a job. It is a pretty limiting degree, as most places want an RN for management positions. You need to know where you could get a job with the degree ie govt job or community job? I'd ask the college to speak to alumni who have an MPH and what it has done for them. How many pertinent jobs are out there for that degree? These are the questions to consider.

wish_me_luck, BSN, RN

Has 6 years experience.

I plan to go for an MPH, but I want it because I do like community and public health. That's the whole reason to go for it. I want to work for the state (health dept) or federal government (NIH/NIMH/CDC) and/or community setting.

I have one more class and I'll be done with my MPH. It's not a limiting degree as someone stated. Any degree is limiting if you don't know what to do with it.

I have a BSN, and I got my job in public health without having completed the MPH. But the MPH is going to and has opened a lot of doors. It also gives me more choices when considering doctorate studeis (DNP, DrPH, PhD in nursing or public health....my choice; I'm qualified to apply for any of those.). Or I can stop altogether and pretty much lock in at least 50k salary anywhere I go (not much in metro areas, but you could get by if you live simply).

Good luck deciding. I almost applied to a joint MSN/MPH program, but I decided a cheap program (upstate New York) was more important than two degrees and a whole lot of money.


Specializes in OB/GYN,PHN, Family Planning. Has 20 years experience.

I am finishing my MSN with a specialty focus in public health. I am considering a DrPH or DNP with public health leadership track. I do not want to be a NP and I have found several DNP programs that do not require a NP and focus on public health. Study what you feel passionate about. There is never a "bad" graduate degree. Good luck!

I have an MPH. Personally, I think the MPH is more useful in the field of Public Health as a whole. If you intend to stay strictly in the nursing arena, I say go for the MSN. If not, then the MPH is more suitable and is workable in both areas. I am now working on my MSN as well, but not in PHN. Beyond the nursing core, the specialization courses are similar for both degrees. I didn't want to feel like I was getting the same degree twice. I'm just getting the MSN so I can teach PHN on a university level. I am already board certified as an APHN, so I don't really need the MSN per se for practice reasons, but most colleges still want you to obtain the MSN at a minimum to teach. Hope this gives you a little more perspective. Best of luck!


tmarie75, great info from someone with an MPH degree! I am just completing my BSN after practicing for years as a Diploma RN. I love global health and I am interested in an academic/ research career, as well as a social enterprise in my native sub sahara. I really don't care for academics in nursing, but do realize I have invested lots of time and experience in nursing, and that it could open more doors for me. I would like to start in 2014 (MPH) and I am looking at Canadian programs. I hope to do a PhD in health equity after. I am mid-career, don't have too much time for an MSN, and I find it worrisome that it is required by most schools for an academic career. Some schools also insist on an NP masters and not a masters in education. I find it sad that nursing schools are not embracing nurses with diverse graduate schooling. I have no interest in an NP degree at all. If I had to squeeze in a 2nd masters, I would take a medical anthropology one, as I am interested in ethnographic methods. Mmmmm...food for thought!

@ 321kza

I know its been a year since your post, but incase you peek back, UBC is starting an MPH/MSN combo in 2014!

Edited by RNMA15
spelling correction


Specializes in public health. Has 5 years experience.

I had MPH first then BSN. It helped me to land a job with my local health department even though I am a new grad nurse.

Hi tmarie75, thanks for the information. You said you are board certified as APHN. Can you please share how you became certified (resources and study tips used). I am new in this community. I currently have MPH and will like to be board certified. Thank you.

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I'm looking into OHSU's MPH, which is a fully accredited online program offered from the SON. I was hoping people here would have a little experience with this program but I can't seem to find much here on it.

Ive had my BSN since 1988 and received my MPH in 2006. At the time, my work made the MPH quite applicable. now I am a public health nurse and the education is not so relevant except that I am able to read data sets. So now Im in MSN school so I can teach.


Has 1 years experience.

Hello to all the experienced and professionals in public health sector canada,I need your great opinion, As I have completed Ph.D,(RN) in nursing from India and relocating to canada soon.I know to get a RN license is long journey and takes much time.So for a mean time I am planning to join a course on MPH or Post graduate certificate course in healthcare leadership.I found that both courses are unique and have wide oppourtunities and I know that as a canadian nurses who are there in the situation can give an exact information .Currently I am not licensed at canada it is in process. Therofor without Nursing license can I work after MPH or healthcare leadership or it is mandatory to have license.what is the employment oppourtunities, is it possible to find the job without license.Hope you all can share your views.

mercyteapot, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dev. Disabilities, Health Disparities. Has 20 years experience.

I got my MPH in 2007. If you're interested in epidemiology, I believe the MPH is more useful for your career than the MSN. Although my specialty is not epidemiology, none of my colleagues who specialize in it even have nursing degrees, so I don't believe not having a license would be a barrier. Editing to add that I am in the US, so this whole post is probably not helpful at all! Sorry!


Specializes in Oncology, Public Health, Health Education. Has 9 years experience.

An MPH in epidemiology is very different than an MPH in health behavior, health promotion, or health education. My understanding is an MPH in epidemiology is much more marketable and much more in demand as well as better paying. It might be worth it to talk with advisors or program directors for MPH and MSN programs and see what they have to say. Even better if you can get an appointment with a local one. Good luck!