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MSN in Public Health Nursing

As healthcare continues to evolve, there is an increased need for nurses trained in public health. Drexel University’s online MSN in Public Health Nursing aims to meet that need, training you to use a systems-thinking clinical approach to advocate for resources and policies to improve the health of all populations, locally and globally. This is an interdisciplinary degree that provides the opportunity to take online courses through Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions as well as the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health. This blend of nursing education and public health foundational knowledge culminates in a capstone project, where you’ll take what you’ve learned throughout the MSN public health nursing program and apply it to a real-world public health issue.

MSN in Public Health Nursing Program At a Glance:

  • 45 quarter credits
  • 100% online
  • Courses taught by nursing and public health experienced faculty from Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Dornsife School of Public Health
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits the master’s degree in nursing at Drexel University
  • The Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • Those who consistently take two courses per quarter will finish in two years, one class a quarter will take closer to four years
  • Consistently ranked among the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by U.S. News & World Report
  • A three-year tuition lock for those who complete the program within 3 years

What will I learn in the MSN in Public Health Nursing?

In Drexel’s online MSN in Public Health Nursing, you’ll learn to:

  • Practice within a legal and ethical framework of healthcare delivery
  • Deepen the role of advanced nursing practice in the healthcare system through scholarship, clinical experience, and political involvement
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills in clinical decision-making
  • Integrate multiple technologies and relevant theories into the organization and synthesis of health data required to develop plans of care for patients, families, and communities
  • Integrate culturally sensitive health promotion activities that contribute to the health and wellness of the community into clinical practice
  • Demonstrate leadership in nursing and healthcare through involvement in the development of outcome-based standards of care and practice-based health policy issues
  • Evaluate and modify the quality and effectiveness of clinical practice based on current research findings, standards of care, and patient outcomes
  • Contribute to the advancement of nursing, healthcare, and humanity through communication, collaboration, and education

What Does It Mean to Be a Public Health Nurse?

Qualities and Responsibilities of a Public Health Nurse
Public health nurses look to improve the health of all populations, both locally and globally, in a variety of practice settings. Drexel’s MSN in Public Health Nursing prepares you to improve population health through prevention efforts, attention to determinants of health, advocacy, policy development, and planning to address issues of social justice and health equity. You’ll use your clinical expertise and systems-level thinking to assess the challenges and opportunities faced on both an individual and population level, and translate this into action for public good.

How to Become a Public Health Nurse

As a public health nurse, you will be required to utilize clinical nursing skills and public health education to treat and improve health on a community, national, and global level. Rather than treating each patient individually, you will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients on a much larger scale. This program will prepare you to care for populations of people. Additionally, after graduating from Drexel University with your MSN: Public Health Nursing, combined with 3 years of public health work experience, you will be eligible to sit for the National Board of Public Health Examiners Certificate in Public Health exam.

By starting or resuming an application to Drexel University, I accept that I may be contacted by phone, e-mail, direct mail, and text message.

Admissions Criteria

  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a program fully accredited by the National League of Nursing (NLN/ACEN) or the American Association Colleges of Nursing (AACN/CCNE)
    • Nurses with a non-nursing bachelor's may consider applying for the RN-BSN-MSN program to earn both a BSN and MSN concurrently, or apply to the RN to MSN Bridge Program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 
    • If your GPA is lower, you're still encouraged to apply, but should ensure that relevant professional experience is included on your resume. You must also provide two professional letters of recommendation from either previous or immediate supervisors or former faculty members who can attest to your clinical knowledge, skill, and potential aptitude for graduate study.
  • A current, unrestricted United States RN license

Required Documents

With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

  • A completed application
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
  • Two professional letters of recommendation (waived with a GPA of a 3.0 or higher)
  • Personal statement (800 to 1,600 words) that will give the admissions committee a better understanding of:
    • Why you are choosing this particular track
    • How your current work experience will enhance your experience in this program, and
    • Your plans upon completing the degree
  • Resume including specific details of your responsibilities and job experiences
  • A copy of your United States RN license (License verification from your nursing license registry website is acceptable)
  • Additional requirements for International Students

This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits. Use our quarter to semester credit converter to calculate the difference.

View Course Descriptions

What Can You Do with an MSN in Public Health?

Public Health Nursing Careers
The MSN in Public Health Nursing is designed to prepare you for a career as a nurse leader in local, state, federal, and global agencies, schools, home health agencies, and wellness centers. However, you can apply this degree to a number of different positions within the healthcare field. Some common job titles this degree prepares you for are:

  • Public Health Nurse
  • Public Health Information Officer
  • Public Health Educator
  • Health and Wellness Manager/Director
  • Health Services Manager/Director
  • Health Program Coordinator
  • Surveillance and Population Health Specialist
  • Public Health Analyst
  • Public Health Advisor
  • Research Science Officer

How Much Do Public Health Nurses Make?

MSN Public Health Nurse Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a registered nurse (RN) is $71,730. The job outlook for RNs is expected to grow faster than average, with a projected 12% increase between 2018 and 2028. Payscale.com advises that the average hourly pay for a public health nurse is $28.57 for an annual median salary of $59,180. Exact salaries will vary, however, depending on your exact title, location and years of experience.