Master’s Degree in Public Health vs. Master’s Degree in Nursing: What’s The Difference?

Master’s Degrees in Public Health vs Nursing: What’s the Difference?

These two degrees have many similarities when it comes to master’s in Public Health or Nursing.

Master of Public Health and Master of Science Nursing are both two-year graduate degrees in healthcare. MPH and MSN students can enroll in similar courses, leading to overlap within professional settings such as government or hospitals.

The MPH and MSN degrees offer distinct perspectives, such as course content, professional outcomes and career options.

Discover more about the distinctions between MPH degrees and MSN degrees by exploring our comparison chart:

MPH Curriculum vs MSN Curriculum.

MPH Courses

The Master of Public Health program prepares graduates for leadership roles in healthcare, advanced research and advocacy. Many MPH students must also complete an applied learning internship as part of their studies.

What topics will be covered in Core MPH classes?

  • Community health sciences
  • Emergency Management Health Issues
  • Environmental Health
  • Global Health Issues
  • Public Health Policy
  • Social Behavioral Aspects of Good Health

MSN Courses

Master’s degrees in Nursing offer students an advanced understanding of leadership, healthcare policy and research. This equips registered nurses with the knowledge needed to progress within their career and become leaders within the healthcare field.

MSN graduates can choose to pursue leadership or administrative roles depending on their career goals. Many MSN students pass the national certification exam and complete supervised nursing hours before they are eligible to advance in their practice.

Core MSN Course Topics:

  • Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Quality Healthcare: Communication & Informatics
  • Leadership in Organizational Communication

For advanced nursing practice, pharmacy is an option. Organization of healthcare policy and politics

  • Seminar in nursing research
  • MPH vs MSN Professional Outcomes

What matters more when looking at graduate nursing education options?

The MPH Results

Public health professionals are accountable for raising public awareness and planning, as well as organizing and directing wellness programs and shaping public policy. MPH graduates promote healthy living, prevent disease, and guarantee everyone has access to top medical care.

MSN Outcomes

MSN nurses are qualified to aid patients and their families in recovering from injury or illness, as well as educate the public on preventative health measures. MSN-trained nurses may work at an advanced level or in leadership roles.

  • MPH Vs MSN Career Options
  • MPH Common Career Paths

MPH graduates can choose from a variety of career paths. MPH holders have the potential to work in academia and government as well as hospitals, non-profit organizations, private sectors and research for major health organizations.

MPH majors have two types of job prospects:


What they Do: Epidemiologists advocate for public health policies and investigate the causes and consequences of injury and infectious diseases in populations and communities. A variety of data is analyzed by epidemiologists, such as blood, bodily fluids, observations, interviews and surveys. Public health practitioners, policymakers and researchers can all benefit from the applicable insights of epidemiologists.

Where Do They Work? The majority of epidemiologists work for state and local governments, hospitals, or colleges.

On average, epidemiologists make $78,830 annually while Connecticut average salaries range from $82,090.

Job Outlook: Employment opportunities in this field are projected to grow 30% between 2020-2030 with 900 new openings per year.


What Do They Do? To solve public health issues and make sound decisions in public health, Biostatisticians use research data and clinical trials to calculate their findings.

Where Do They Work? Generally speaking, most biostatisticians work within research, government or healthcare organizations.

  • Annual median salary: $95,570
  • Median salary in Connecticut: 101,020
  • Job Outlook: Employment opportunities for Biostatisticians are expected to expand by 35% between 2020-2030, with 1,490 openings annually.

MSN Career Prospects

MSN degree holders have the option to work in patient-focused clinic settings or pursue other career options in executive leadership roles.

MSN graduates can pursue a career in academia or home healthcare. Additionally, they have the chance to work as nurses, doctors, or researchers for essential healthcare institutions.

Two career options for MSN majors include teaching or nursing.

Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators oversee medical and health services at clinics, departments or practices by combining executive, HR and patient service responsibilities. In doing so, they ensure the smooth running of clinics, departments or practices.

Healthcare administrators are usually found in hospitals, doctor’s offices and nursing care facilities.

Annual median salary: 101,340

Median Connecticut salary: $103,470

Career Outlook: Healthcare admin professionals are expected to grow 32% between 2020-2030, with 51.800 openings annually.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRNs – Family Nurse Practitioner or Mental Health Nurse Practitioner)

What Do They Do? These Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) have passed both the NCLEX and advanced practice nursing exams, making them licensed to care across all life stages. APRNs may also be referred to as nurse practitioners; they offer advanced nursing services to patients and their families.

Where they Work: Nurse practitioners typically work in doctor’s offices, hospitals or outpatient centers.

National median salary: $120.680

Median Annual Salary in Connecticut: $125,000

Job Outlook: Each year, 11,490 nursing jobs become available; further, projections indicate a 52% rise in nurse practitioners between 2020-2030.

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