What’s the difference Master’s degree in public health & Nursing?

Master’s degrees in public health vs nursing: What’s the Difference?

Master of science degrees in public health and nursing share many similarities. Two-year graduate programs in healthcare offer the Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Science (MSN). Students pursuing either degree may take courses together, though these distinctions public health & Nursing may not be apparent when working in professional settings such as hospitals or government organizations.

However, MPH and MSN degrees differ in several respects, such as course curricula and professional outcomes.

Keep reading to discover the distinctions between MPH and MSN degrees:

MPH Curriculum Vs MSN Curriculum

MPH Courses

Graduates of the Master of Public Health program can advocate for patient rights, conduct advanced health research, lead in leadership roles and make a significant contribution to healthcare reform. Many MPH students must also complete an applied learning internship as part of their degree requirements.

Examples of core MPH class topics include:

  • Health Sciences for the Community
  • Healthcare Issues Related to Emergency Management
  • Environmental Health
  • Global Health Issues
  • Public Health Policy
  • Health from Social and Behavioral Perspectives

MSN Courses

The master’s degree in nursing program prepares students for leadership positions within healthcare, research, policy and theory. This degree equips registered nurses with the tools needed to become leaders within this industry.

MSN graduates can pursue leadership or administrative positions depending on their career path. Before making the leap into practice, many MSN students complete supervised clinical hours for experience.

Examples of core MSN course topics include:

  • Leadership and advanced nursing practice
  • Communication and informatics are essential to healthcare quality
  • Leading-edge techniques in organization communications
  • Advanced nursing practice with pharmacology
  • Politics, policy, and organization of healthcare
  • Seminar in nursing research
  • MPH vs MSN Professional Results

Results of MPH

Public health professionals work to raise public awareness, create wellness programs and formulate policy. Graduates of the MPH advocate for healthy living to prevent disease and illness while guaranteeing people access to medical care when it is needed.

MSN Outcomes

MSN nurses provide patients and their families with compassionate, effective healthcare to help them recover from illness or injury. Furthermore, those who have completed college can practice at an advanced level as well as hold professional leadership positions.

MPH Vs MSN Career Options

MPH Common Careers

MPH graduates have many career options to choose from, including academia, government and hospitals as well as nonprofit and private sectors. With an MPH degree, you could work in academia, government or hospitals for both full-time employment or part time work.

Here are two examples of MPH majors who have job opportunities:


What do they do? Epidemiologists promote public health policies and investigate the causes and patterns of infectious diseases and injuries in communities and populations. The data they collect ranges from blood and bodily fluids, to observations, interviews, surveys, and observation. In order to reduce adverse health outcomes and promote positive change, epidemiologists present their findings to policymakers and practitioners alike.

  • Epidemiologists typically work in hospitals and colleges, as well as state and local governments.
  • The national median annual salary for epidemiologists is $78,830; Connecticut’s median annual salary is $82,090.
  • Job Outlook: Employment in epidemiology is expected to grow 30% between 2020 and 2030, with 900 new positions opening each year.


What they Do: Biostatisticians utilize calculated findings from clinical trials or research data to address public-health issues and make sound decisions for society.

Biostatisticians typically work for the federal government or healthcare organizations. On average, biostatisticians earn between $95,570 and $12,020 annually nationwide; Connecticut has the highest median annual salary at $11,020.

Job Outlook: Biostatisticians are expected to see a 35% growth between 2020 and 2030, with 1,490 job openings annually.

MSN Career Prospects

MSN graduates can work in patient-focused environments or pursue other career options like executive management roles.

MSN degree holders typically work in academia, home care, hospitals, medical clinics and nursing care settings.

MSN majors have two career paths available to them:

Healthcare Administrator

What they Do: Healthcare administrators plan, direct and manage health and medical services in clinics, departments and practices.

Where They Work: Most healthcare administrators work in hospitals or physician’s offices.

Median Annual Salary in Connecticut: $101,340

National Median Salary Average: $100,770

Outlook for Jobs: Healthcare administrators are projected to grow 32% between 2020 and 2030, creating 51,800 job openings annually.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), Family Nurse Practitioner, or Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner are among those in demand.

What they Do. APRNs have passed the NCLEXRN exam and earned an advanced practice nursing degree, granting them license to provide care throughout a patient’s lifetime. Also referred to as nurse practitioners, these APRNs offer advanced nursing services for individuals and their families.

  • Nurse practitioners typically work in hospitals and physician’s offices.
  • On average, nurse practitioners make $120 680 annually; the median Connecticut annual salary is $125,000.
  • Job Outlook According to projections, there will be 11,490 job openings for nurse practitioners between 2020 and 2030.

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