Students interested in working in the fields of nursing and public health may consider pursuing a dual Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program. These dual degree programs provide students with plenty of hands-on learning experiences and usually save students time and money because they can be completed more quickly than if they took each program separately. Learn more about this dual degree program and some of its requirements.
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Information for Dual DNP/MPH Programs
Dual DNP and MPH degree programs can be completed in as little as 4 years and usually include practicum experiences and a final capstone project. Coursework in these programs may vary slightly based on a student's personal interests and chosen electives, but here we examine a few of the common courses for these programs.
Advanced Public Health Nursing
Dual DNP and MPH degree programs usually include a course in advanced public health nursing that is lecture-based and may be available in an online format. This course addresses health trends for specific populations and practice concepts for advanced public health nurses. Students may also examine topics in ethics and intervention strategies.
Most of the hands-on learning in dual DNP and MPH programs occurs during in-person practicum courses. These courses usually include fieldwork in a clinical setting, like local agencies and public health departments, and may include group meetings. Some of these practicum courses explore the applications of specific topics in public health nursing, such as behavior change theory, population assessment, leadership and informatics.
Many MPH portions of the dual degree program include a lecture-based course on management within health services. These courses may be available online for some programs. Students in these courses study the various management techniques needed to successfully run public health organizations and health services. They also learn how to improve their skills in this area.
With the ever-changing healthcare environment, these dual degree programs usually include a course that examines leadership and innovation in the field. These courses are lecture-based and may be offered online. Students further develop their leadership skills by studying leadership theory and systems thinking. They also discuss ways to implement change. This course may be accompanied by a residency in a leadership role.
MPH portions of this dual degree program typically include a course on emergency preparedness in the field of public health. Some of these courses may be available online and may include lecture, discussion and/or independent study sections. These courses are designed to train students in the tools used in emergency response and recovery. Students also examine the role public policy plays in emergency preparedness.
Common Entrance Requirements
Students interested in a dual DNP and MPH degree program usually apply to the DNP program and indicate their interest in also earning the MPH. Some dual DNP and MPH degree programs have a post-baccalaureate path and a post-master's path, depending on an applicant's educational background. It is fairly common for these programs to require at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a Registered Nurse (RN) license. Some programs may ask for professional nursing experience and usually include an interview process, but these programs generally do not require GRE scores. Other common application materials include official transcripts, letters of reference, a resume or CV and/or personal essays.
Dual DNP and MPH degree programs include coursework in both nursing and public health as well as hands-on learning experiences. These programs usually have a minimum GPA requirement and require applicants to go through an interview process prior to admission.