Master of Science in Nursing Online: Community-Based Public Health Nursing Specialization
You became a nurse to make a difference. Follow your passion to a thriving career in community health.
Infectious disease, opioid misuse, vaccine-preventable diseases, heart disease, mental health, climate change, and pollution are among the top health concerns in the United States–each necessitating robust public health intervention. Oklahoma City University’s 21-credit Community-Based Public Health Specialization will prepare nurses to become public health leaders who conduct investigations into these types of issues and their impact on the community. With careful consideration of and input from the community that they’re serving, students will become community health nurses who can educate and strategize to provide comprehensive, life-changing care.
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Get a Program Brochure
Considering a nursing degree to take your career to the next level? Your journey starts here. Complete the form to get a program brochure for the Oklahoma City University MSN Online.
Get valuable insights into the OCU online experience, learn more about specialization options, and see where this degree can take you.
Community health nursing skills
Today, the American Nurses Association (ANA) defines public health nursing as, “The practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences.”1 Public health nurses work together using advocacy, education, and policy development to address topics including: immunizations, infection prevention, environmental health, opioid crisis response and issues of social justice.1 While certain organizations and associations may prefer the use of one term over the other, as the field has expanded, the terms “public health” and “community health” have become essentially interchangeable.
Community health nurses can be responsible for:
- Designing and implementing education programs about prevention measures, healthy lifestyles, and disease prevention
- Advocating for health policy development and reform on behalf of the community
- Researching interventions, policy, and programs that improve public health
- Reviewing historical records, scientific studies, and population data to prevent injuries and illnesses to promote health across populations
- Leading other nurses in public health endeavors within the federal government, state or local governments, medical laboratories, hospitals, or other community organizations
MSN Online: Community-Based Public Health Specialization
In addition to the core MSN online courses, MSN Community-Based Public Health nursing students will take 21-credit hours of courses in their specialization. Building fundamental skills in leadership and management while deepening their knowledge of key public health topics, students will graduate prepared to be effective public health nurses.
NURS 6813 Foundations of Community-based Public Health – 3 credit hours
NURS 6803 Advanced Health Promotion and Risk Reduction – 3 credit hours
NURS 6814 Introduction to Epidemiology and Data Management – 4 credit hours
NURS 6824 Ethics, Law and Healthcare Policy in Community-based Public Health – 4 credit hours
NURS 6303 Contemporary Healthcare Organizations – 3 credit hours
NURS 6314 Healthcare Economics and Financial Management – 4 credit hours
Drive change with an MSN Specialization in Community Public Health Nursing
Combine your nursing experience with your interest in social justice and health equity to make a difference in the lives of your neighbors and community members. With your MSN specialization in public health you’ll have a better opportunity to steer your career in an exciting direction.
Take the lead in community-based nursing
Designed to prepare nurses to assume leadership roles in assessing communities and populations, the OCU MSN public health master’s specialization will prepare nursing students to identify high-risk groups, and, in partnership with communities, consumers, and stakeholders, develop culturally sensitive, evidence-based, and population appropriate nursing interventions to positively impact the determinants of health.
Master’s in community-based nursing FAQ
What is a master's in community health nursing?
Our MSN public health specialization will shape you into a community health leader, prepared to identify high-risk populations and work in partnership with community members to develop culturally appropriate interventions.
In the public health specialization, you will take the same 12 credits of core nursing courses (plus 13 more bachelor's level nursing credits if you're in the accelerated RN-MSN program) as all MSN students. Additionally, you will take 25 credits of public health nursing courses, as outlined above.
What can you do with an MSN in public health nursing?
As far as jobs go, you could use your MSN in public health in areas such as:
- Policy analysis
- Global or environmental health
- Administration and Education
- Community health and/or school nursing
Is public health nursing a good career?
History of public health and community health nursing
Public health was once primarily made up of isolation and quarantine measures to battle diseases like smallpox and typhoid. But with industrialization and urbanization increasing the density of cities in the 1800s, public health came to be understood as a societal issue with a concentration put on sanitation efforts in addition to disease prevention.2 As a nurse, you’re likely familiar with Florence Nightingale’s innovative work. She changed how we understand the widespread health benefits of sanitation, health reform, and administration, and was also a leader in using statistics and visual analytics to communicate research findings. In many ways, she paved the way for public health nursing which has come a long way since its initial form in the 18th century.
Public health nurses are crucial to our communities as demonstrated by their work managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health nurses in clinics, hospitals, city, state and county health departments, Rural Health Centers, tribal clinics and beyond were key in educating their communities about prevention measures, distributing vaccines, and supporting some of the most vulnerable populations in the country. While there’s no specific employment outlook data for the field of public health nursing, employment of registered nurses overall is projected to grow by 6%3 while the projected growth for health education specialists and community health workers is at 12%,4 signaling a promising job outlook for nurses in public health.
- Retrieved on January 23, 2023, from nursingworld.org/practice-policy/workforce/public-health-nursing/
- Retrieved on January 23, 2023, from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218224/
- Retrieved on January 23, 2023, from www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
- Retrieved on January 23, 2023, from www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm