NP or MPH?


I graduate with my RN soon, and I have a previous BA in another field.

I have worked as an LPN for almost 10 years in an office, then M/B, and now on an acute medical floor. Prior to being an LPN I worked for a couple of years as an aide and unit secretary on this same floor. I've been thinking about where I view myself in 10 years, and I see myself in some sort of low-managerial position--public health clinic or school clinic, for example, or DON at a larger doctor's office, that sort of thing. I have no desire to take on the world, but don't want to be a floor nurse FOREVER, if no other reason that I don't think it will be physically possible!

I just always assumed I would go into a NP program; but recently a friend applied at a Masters of Public Heath program. She was not accepted; but it has gotten me thinking. It seems like a good track for where I would like to see myself. But in some ways, it limits me a bit, too, if only in that NPs have a lot more lateral job possibilities.

Anyone here explored the MPH option?

Any thoughts?

Thanks, J


610 Posts

Specializes in Maternity, quality. Has 2 years experience.

I think it depends on what you want to get into. I think if you are more interested in things like health policies (in general or as part of an institution) and you want to be in a behind-the-scenes sort of situation the MPH might be better suited to you. I know a couple people in my program already have an MPH and I expect that with the two they'll be able to find a job no problem. If, on the other hand, you really want to do more practice-based stuff then the NP would be a better way to go. Which isn't to say that NPs can't leverage their education to move into managerial aspects, but I'm thinking it might be easier to leverage an MPH into administrative-type work than an NP. I know an NP who heads up a hospice group, but IIRC she also has her MPH.

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