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NP-MPH. Hospital vs home care for experience? And general advice

Digirols Digirols (New) New

I am hoping to get advice as to what NP-MPH programs look for on a resume/what experience would be best before entering this program. I just graduated from nursing school in May and have been working at the VNA in their new graduate residency program for a couple months. I decided to go straight into the community setting instead of the hospital, and it's been going well. I'm hoping to apply to an NP-MPH program within the next 5 years. I signed up to be a Red Cross volunteer and a medical reserve corps volunteer. I'm also going to join the American Association of Public Health. I hope to work in health policy and research, while still doing some direct patient care (not quite sure what job this is yet but something down this track!). My main question is should I be getting hospital experience before entering this program?? I've had some people tell me that home care is not going to prepare me well enough and these programs would prefer applicants with hospital experience. Originally I wanted to work for a health department after my home care experience and before an NP-MPH program. Now I'm rethinking of replacing that idea with the hospital. And what other advice is there for a nurse interested in applying to this?? Thank you so so much!! I have yet to meet a nurse in this type of program and it's been hard obtaining good advice.

Well, the usual "norm" for new grads is finding jobs at a hospital. But not many hospitals are hiring new grads these days, unless you enter some sort of Versant or internship program with them or know their hiring manager personally. Some new grads are obtaining jobs outside the hospital like SNF/LTC, hospice, home health, etc. and using that as their nursing experience; however it's not considered acute. You can try to explain to them your role and duties during an interview. Heavily impacted areas, like Southern California, have so much new grad finding jobs that it may take a while to hear back from hospitals. So it also depends on your area.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Honestly? I believe that home care is an ideal environment to prepare you for a career in PH. Acute care is only one part of the health care continuum - it's not the 'be all & end all' of nursing. Most acute care nurses have no idea how care happens before & after an episode of hospitalization... and that's the realm of PH.

OTOH, if your preferred NP program requires acute care experience, I guess you don't have much of a choice.

Great, thank you so much!


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