Clinical Educator with an MPH?

  1. I'm currently working on a BSN, and have been thinking about getting an MSN-Ed next. I think my ideal job would be as a hospital educator (ie: teaching staff). However, I keep seeing ads for a local Master of Public Health program. Would anyone hire me as a clinical educator with an MPH (and no Masters in Nursing?) What do you all think?
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    About marienm, RN, CCRN

    Joined: Jun '13; Posts: 183; Likes: 259

    12 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from marienm, RN, CCRN
    I'm currently working on a BSN, and have been thinking about getting an MSN-Ed next. I think my ideal job would be as a hospital educator (ie: teaching staff). However, I keep seeing ads for a local Master of Public Health program. Would anyone hire me as a clinical educator with an MPH (and no Masters in Nursing?) What do you all think?
    Hospital based clinical educator job would not align at ALL with an MPH.
  4. by   marienm, RN, CCRN
    Fair enough! I wondered whether a) any health-related Masters degree would be seen as 'better than none' and b) bringing a public health perspective to teaching hospital staff would be valuable. If they're really not compatible, then they're not. Thanks!
  5. by   Pixie.RN
    Either way, kudos for wanting to advance your education and teach the "next generation" to provide excellent care.
  6. by   DowntheRiver
    I think it varies per facility. Half of the nurse educators have a Master's degree, not a MSN. Some have MBAs, MPH, MS. It is an even split. The job postings at this facility only say Master's Degree required and don't list a specialty.
  7. by   elkpark
    Interesting question. What would be the point of getting a non-nursing Master's that has nothing to do with your "ideal job" as an educator in an acute care setting? Is it just that the program is local? How would graduate study in public health make you more attractive as a nursing clinical educator in an acute care hospital setting?
  8. by   marienm, RN, CCRN
    Well, the program looks really interesting! The geography is probably why I'm seeing the ads, but there are also plenty of local MS/MSN options, not to mention online programs. So I'm not simply considering it because it's convenient.

    I was thinking that a public health perspective could help me understand (and teach) why our patients come into the hospital and thus why they are in need of care. Teaching nurses from this perspective might, in turn, help them serve their patient's needs better.

    If, as elkpark and MMJ have said, the two really don't have anything to do with each other, then they don't! If there's a clinical educator who wants to expand upon why "the reasons/mechanisms for why people get sick are completely irrelevant when considering how to train acute-care nurses," I would genuinely welcome your thoughts!
  9. by   not.done.yet
    Well, here's the thing. Very little of what nurses do in Professional Development (also sometimes called nurse educators) has to do with that kind of teaching. It gets mentioned in orientation, sure and perhaps during annual competency evaluation type stuff. But this type of training is a very narrow part of what a hospital-based nurse educator does. What the MSN in education gets you includes how to read and interpret research, understanding adult learning, curriculum development, acting as a change agent and the like. Much of what you teach as a hospital based educator/professional development specialist is garnered from regulatory requirements as well as entity specific initiatives. So, while an MPH might be interesting or even useful in a well-rounded sense, you will miss out on a great deal of information that is invaluable by not getting the MSN in education in favor of something that is only peripherally pertinent to the job.
  10. by   marienm, RN, CCRN
    Thank you, not.done.yet! That makes a lot of sense. I suspect I need to take some more time before committing to a path here...
  11. by   InquisitiveAPN
    The only interactions I've had with nurse educators were in renewing _ _ LS classes, giving new hire orientation, and in-service on new supplies.

    I don't think a theoretical "why patients come to the hospital" is necessary or cost effective at the staff training level. How academic is that construct?

    Granted, I'm really interested in the MPH: policy and admin programs, but unless someone pays for it for me it ain't happenin'! Props for wanting to expand your mind beyond nursing!

    There's a local MSN program that has a nurse admin course with epidemiology and all the theoretical stuff, admin classes, and built in pedagogical classes. It's like 42 semester credits or something. The education master's has to take peds or adult NP classes in addition to the pedagogy courses. However, they don't get the clinical training needed to become a NP. Not sure how popular the program is. There are only 11 hospitals in about a 200 mile area. None are level one anything and five don't have ERs.
  12. by   marienm, RN, CCRN
    Clinical educators at my hospital get to teach a lot more than annual competencies...I guess I should keep in mind that isn't the case everywhere. For example, ours teach a multi-day critical care class for new grad nurses are are pretty involved in the development of new policies.

    Thanks for the info about what is in some MSN programs. I'll start looking more specifically at what is in each curriculum at each institution.
  13. by   Pixie.RN
    As a trauma educator, I also do a lot of injury prevention, which made me consider an MPH for a hot minute. For some specialties (like trauma and burns), I can see why an MPH would be a thought.
  14. by   not.done.yet
    Yeah, I definitely do more than onboarding and annual competencies. Tons of classes on other stuff and patient-centered care is not an uncommon theme. But I would not base my whole career on a degree that focuses solely on that kind of thing, if that makes sense.

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