MSN/MPH Dual Degree: Programs & Jobs

When deciding to advance your education with a public health degree, you may also choose to advance your nursing education. Many colleges offer dual programs that combine these two degrees. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the careers you could seek after graduation.

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Many colleges offer dual degree programs to give you access to skills in multiple fields. One dual degree that is commonly found is the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)/Master of Public Health (MPH). This program will provide you with the education needed to work in health policy, health education, or nursing.

Career Options for MSN/MPH

Position Average Salary (2017)* Career Outlook (2016-2026)*
Medial and Health Services Managers $111,680 20%
Social and Community Health Managers $70,530 18%
Nurse Practitioners $107,480 36%
Epidemiologists $76,230 9%
Health Educators $57,900 14%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Descriptions for MSN/MPH

Your MSN/MPH dual degree will allow you to work in the community, improving health in many ways. You needn't stick with your local community since you can expand your borders to help the world and international areas in need. Here, we'll look at some job descriptions for MSN/MPH degree holders.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Though a bachelor's degree is good for this position, many organizations prefer a master's degree. Having an MSN/MPH degree will give you the knowledge needed to tackle the healthcare system's weaknesses and develop ways to make it better. You'll be able to work as a department head, hiring and training new staff, as well as managing the schedules, staff, facility needs, and finances. Most importantly, when there are law and regulation changes to the healthcare system, you'll find ways to implement them and ensure the facility and staff are complying.

Social and Community Health Manager

This position requires more of the public health degree skills so that you'll analyze social programs and work with the community to create better social programs and services. You'll write grant proposals and community service plans. You'll collect data to show the effectiveness of programs already in place. You'll likely do some public speaking, budget management, fundraising, and outreach to donors.

Nursing Practitioner

Nursing practitioners (NPs) are the most advanced licensed nurses. As an NP, you'll work with patients to assess, diagnose, and treat illnesses and injuries. Nurse practitioners can take a number of roles in different facilities. With an MPH degree, you'll be interested in community health, so you may choose to work in free clinics, underprivileged neighborhoods, or internationally with health programs such as Doctors Without Borders. If you are licensed properly, you may be able to prescribe medications, depending on your state.

Epidemiologist

As an epidemiologist, you'll analyze data to look for patterns in injuries and diseases. You'll use this information to help avoid future occurrences in the community. Along with creating new health policies, you'll work to manage public health programs. You'll also collect data, which can include bodily fluids, interviews, and medical imaging. You'll analyze that data and then write reports for other medical professionals and policymakers. As an epidemiologist, you may choose to focus your work in one area, such as infectious diseases, injuries, mental health, or substance abuse.

Health Educator

Similar to some other community service workers, you'll assess the current trends in your community and create programs to better the health of your community. As a health educator, you'll be concerned more with teaching the community about healthy living, how to manage health conditions, and finding health services for those in need. You'll work with outreach programs to help people, as well as create new programs and educational materials for use. Finally, you'll also advocate for more funding or policy changes to improve the health in the community.

MSN/MPH Program Descriptions

This program is combined with the intent to give nurses a background in community public health and policymaking. You'll also gain a better understanding of clinical nursing practices. The bonus for this program is that both degrees can be completed at the same time, reducing the time it would take to earn the two degrees separately. Some of the course topics you'll look at will include public health nursing theory, population-based public health nursing interventions, population dynamics, evidence-based research, healthcare program development, epidemiology, and public health policy. Typically, you'll need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and several introductory nursing courses under your belt to apply for these programs.

Earning a dual MSN/MPH degree can open your career opportunities to help advance healthcare in community settings. You'll be able to become an epidemiologist, nurse practitioner, health educator, or community service manager to design and implement health programs in your area or abroad.

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