Which Public Health Courses Are Usually Required for Nurses?

Aspiring nurses who choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing will take at least one class in public health nursing, and graduate degrees in the field can offer a specialization in this area. Read on to learn more. Schools offering Public Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Undergraduate Public Health Courses Required for Nurses

People becoming registered nurses typically earn either the 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Nursing or the 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Most 2-year nursing degree programs don't include public health courses, but most 4-year programs do require one course in this area. The course might be called something close to Population-Based Health Care or Nursing in Communities. In this class, nursing students learn about disease in populations, epidemiology, health promotion and health restoration. This required course also gives students an overview of the medical system as it interacts with policy makers and communities within diverse cultures, norms and health-related beliefs.

Important Facts About Public Health Courses

Prerequisites GRE scores within five years; faculty interview; evidence of current nursing licensure; community service and professional commitment
Programs Post-master's also available
Training Clinical experience
Certification Eligible for Advanced Public Health Nurse - Board Certified
Median Salary (2018) $71,730 (for all registered nurses)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for all registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Public Health Master's Degree for Nurses

A registered nurse with a bachelor's degree and a strong interest in public health has quite a few master's degree choices. Some of them are listed below.

Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Public Health

Some universities offer this dual degree MSN/MPH program, which can be finished in 18 months of full-time study. Upon completion of the program, the graduate is eligible for certification as a clinical nurse specialist. Required public health courses cover:

  • Health interventions with populations
  • Statistics
  • Leadership, management and evaluation
  • Changing health policy
  • Environmental health
  • Epidemiology

Master of Science in Public Health Nursing Leadership

This master's degree may be earned in a year. The graduate may earn Advanced Public Health Nurse (APHN-BC) certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Required courses include these and more:

  • Community preparedness and bioterrorism
  • Assessment for public health
  • Policy and resources
  • Nursing in disasters

Master of Science in Community Public Health Nursing

Some schools offer most of the required courses in this program are available online. Some of them are available only in a Web format. Graduation requirements include 38 hours of coursework and 500 clinical hours. Some required public health courses appear below:

  • U.S. health policy and planning
  • Community epidemiology
  • Nursing research and biostatistics

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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