Online MSN in OHN at Univ of Iowa

Specialties Occupational


I am applying to the online MSN in Occupational Health Nursing at the University of Iowa. The problem is that I was told that if they do not get enough applicants, they may discontinue the program! They need at least 8 people for a cohort. The application deadline is October 26th for Fall 2010 (it was recently moved up). It's NIOSH funded therefore, most, if not all of your tuition is paid...what a deal! Oh, and there is no GRE required! Yippee!

I'm hoping they get enough applicants to keep the program going so I'm spreading the word!

Here is their website:

And a sample plan of study:

If they don't continue the program or I don't get in, then I'll take the GRE and apply to North Carolina's program. I sure am hoping they continue this program and that I'm accepted!

Specializes in Occupational Health Nurse/ case manager.
Frankly there are a lot! of MPH's around. And a MSN even with concentration in Occ Med does not even come close to the saleability of and Nurse Practitioner in Occ Health, just my opinion.

Occupational health is definitely moving toward a total health management model where the NP is, due to cost containment, often bypassing the physician and other nurse clinicians. A potential problem with this is that, although there may be a great demand for NP's especially in the Occ health arena, many new studies that are being conducted by AAOHN, are showing that in the long run NP's do not necessarily achieve a greater cost savings. The reason being that NP's do not have enough hours in a day to do EVERYTHING, especially the case management piece which is a HUGH factor effecting the employer's bottom line. As employers cut corners and staff, the NP takes up the slack that once was shared by others in the Occ health team. So yes, right now a NP is very marketable, but I feel that the trend may level out at some point in the coming years either because of complete burn out for NP's or because a shift in focus will occur as employers focus on value-added services that contain costs. As for MPH's they are valuable in Community and Public health venues as an off-branch of occupational health. There is a place for MPH's and if someone wants to pursue this.....well, more power to them! :yeah:


Hey lynnR, checking in on your progress. How was your first semester at UI?

I sent in my app packet for 2011. You were def right that I would have to go full time the 1st year. It seems like I could do part time after that to pace it out. Do you remember when you first heard back from the school after the application deadline?

Were the assignments more or less what you thought they would be as far as time commitment and content? One year underwater is do-able? Who needs to breathe?

Happy holidays. Enjoy the break. Looking forward to hearing form you.



Hi SunDazed!

I'm just about done with this semester....I have my last final this coming Tuesday. :yeah: It was definitely challenging working full-time and going to school full-time but was doable, although there were times I was so overwhelmed that I thought about quitting. Then I would remind myself that the other students aren't really smarter than me, they just persevere so I decided to stick it out.

I had changed jobs twice since the semester started so that didn't make things easier but I managed to make it through. I think the hardest part for me was the Nursing Informatics course I had to take along with the Occ Health courses. The informatics course was a lot of work...many assignments (most of them group assignments), discussion boards to post to, etc. It felt like I never could catch up in that class but I finally completed everything yesterday! The Occ Health courses weren't too bad; a lot of reading, a couple of papers along with posting to the discussion boards. For practicum, you have to keep a log of your hours (you need 100) and what you've learned in relation to your objectives. I was able to use my latest job as my practicum site so that helped a lot. Others in the class did their rotations at a variety of facilities in IA.

Looking back over my paperwork, it looks like I applied at the end of August 2009 and received my acceptance letter in mid-December 2009. If they follow the same timeline this year, you should hear by the end of the month. Let me know when you hear from them...I'm crossing my fingers you get in. I flew to Iowa in August 2010 for the orientation and to sign the paperwork for the grant. I'm not sure if I'll have to go back again this coming August but if I do and you get in also, I'll see you there! :D Keep me posted!

Specializes in emergency room and public health nursing.


speaking of online post-grad degrees, can citizens outside USA (including those not residing, like me) apply or enroll? i want to take up my masters degree thru online coz i'm working and have no time going to school everyday..if it is possible, what are the requirements and how will be the process..

i appreciate comments..



If I recall correctly, in order to get the NIOSH grant, you have to be a US citizen. I believe you can still apply and attend the school but wouldn't qualify for the grant.

Hey there lynnr_98!

I just wanted to say hi. I was accepted into the OHN program for Fall 2011, but declined. I was worried about going full time and working full time and doing a clinical. The fact that your job counted as your clinical experience was probably a game saver for you. Even if you did have the stress of changing jobs so much in one semester. :eek:

Anyway, I am happy with my decision. I hope your second semester is going well. It really was daunting that everything was fixed for one year. On some level it felt as if it was an all or nothing deal, sink or swim... or any other appropriate metaphor. If I had previous occupational health experience it might have helped me feel more comfortable. It still may be my path at some other time in some other place.

Best of luck to you. Thanks for all your responses.



Hi SunDazed!

It's probably best that you declined. President Obama's budget cuts end all financial support for the ERCs so tuition will not be paid by NIOSH next year. :( I'm really bummed that I'll have to pay for it myself but am grateful that the first year was paid for by them.

This semester I did my practicum at Knott's Berry Farm which has been very challenging with working full time but my boss has been supportive. I'll be glad when this semester is over in May....I'll have the whole summer off. Next year it will be just 2 classes each semester so will be more manageable.

Just do whatever is best for you and your situation. You don't want to be stressed out going full-time and working full-time and don't want to end up owing a ton of student loan debt. Hopefully the right program will be there for you when you're ready! :)

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