Masters in Nursing Public Health
The public health sector is one of the professional healthcare segments that is growing steadily as lack of health insurance becomes a reality for more U.S. citizens each year. There is more to the Masters in Nursing for Community and Public Health than working in a public health clinic however; for advanced practice nurses there are many professional options in the field. Community health can mean many things, including the types of educational campaigns that public agencies or non-profit organizations may undertake for one health issue or another. Someone with training in community health issues may be involved in a school education campaign for a contagious outbreak of some sort, or an outreach effort in low income neighborhoods for an inoculation program.
Because of the public health orientation this degree includes the study of biostatistics and epidemiology. Community and public health professionals target a large, vulnerable population so it is important to have a grasp of the size of the treatment universe and the extent of the health problems being addressed. One of the principal health and social issues that many public health workers face is addiction and substance abuse, so education and advocacy in those fields is an ongoing function for almost any professional working in the field. Other areas addressed in the curriculum include working with families and working with adolescents, courses that will also be found in any MSW program for community services and leadership.
The Masters in Nursing for Community & Public Health has become a common area of specialization, recognized by those working in the sector as well as those in the nursing profession. At the completion of an accredited MSN program in this specialization graduates will be eligible for the certification exam for Clinical Specialist in Public Community Health Nursing. The certification program is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Many people who pursue this degree are interested in and eligible for work in the global community, the web of non-profit and non-governmental organizations that provide healthcare relief to developing nations and underserved populations in poor countries with little or no medical infrastructure.