MPH vs. MSN degree

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

When it comes to a master’s in Public Health vs. a master’s in Nursing, the two achievements share postsecondary parallels.

A Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are both two-year graduate degrees in healthcare. MPH and MSN students may enroll in similar courses, and the two distinctions can overlap in professional settings like hospitals or government.

MPH and MSN degrees differ, however, in areas like course curricula, professional outcomes, and career prospects.

Read on to discover the differences between MPH vs. MSN degrees.

The MPH vs. MSN Curriculum

MPH Courses

A Master of Public Health program prepares graduates to advocate for patient rights, perform advanced health research, serve in leadership roles, and make a difference in the larger healthcare system.

Many MPH students are also required to complete applied learning internships.

Examples of core MPH class topics include:

  • Community health sciences
  • Emergency Management health issues
  • Environmental health
  • Global health issues
  • Public health policy
  • Social and behavioral aspects of health

MSN Courses

A master’s in Nursing program educates students in healthcare leadership, nursing theory, health policy, and research. It prepares registered nurses to advance in their careers and become front-runners in the healthcare field.

Depending on their career path, MSN graduates may pursue leadership and administrative roles. Many MSN students also complete supervised clinical hours and pass the national certification exam for their nursing discipline before advancing their practice.

Examples of core MSN course topics include:

  • Advanced nursing practice and leadership
  • Healthcare quality: communication and informatics
  • Leadership practices in organizational communications
  • Pharmacology for advanced nursing practice
  • Policy, politics, and organization of healthcare
  • Seminar in nursing research

MPH vs. MSN Professional Outcomes

MPH Outcomes

Public health professionals advance public health awareness, organize and originate wellness programs, and shape public health policy. MPH graduates promote healthy living, prevent illness and disease, and ensure people receive access to required medical care.

MSN Outcomes

MSN nurses help patients and their families overcome illness or injury and educate the public on preventative healthcare measures. Graduate MSN nurses practice on an advanced level and work in professional leadership positions.

MPH vs. MSN Career Options

MPH Common Careers

There are countless career options for MPH graduates. MPH degree holders work in academia, government, hospitals, nonprofit, private sectors, and research for significant health organizations.

Two examples of employment opportunities for MPH majors include:

1. Epidemiologist

What they do: Epidemiologists advocate public health policies and investigate the causes and patterns of infectious diseases and injury in communities and populations. Epidemiologists analyze various data sets, from blood and bodily fluids to interviews, observation, and surveys. Epidemiologists report applicable findings to the public, policymakers, and practitioners to reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes and positively affect change.

Where they work: Most epidemiologists work in state and local government, hospitals, and colleges.

National median annual salary: $78,830

Median annual salary in Connecticut: $82,090

Job outlook: Epidemiology employment is projected to grow 30% from 2020 to 2030, with 900 openings annually.

2. Biostatisticians

What they do: Biostatisticians utilize calculated findings from clinical trials and research data to solve public health issues and make sound public health decisions.

Where they work: Most biostatisticians work in research, the federal government, and healthcare.

National median annual salary: $95,570

Median annual salary in Connecticut: $101,020

Job outlook: Biostatistics personnel are estimated to increase 35% from 2020 to 2030, with 1,490 openings yearly.

MSN Career Prospects

MSN graduates can practice in patient-centered clinical settings or find additional career options in executive administration roles.

Those with MSN degrees work in academia, home healthcare, hospitals, medical clinics, nursing care, and research for essential healthcare establishments.

Two career choices for MSN majors contain:

1. Healthcare administrator

What they do: With a blend of accounting, executive, HR, and patient service responsibilities, healthcare administrators plan, direct, and manage medical and health services for clinics, departments, and practices.

Where they work: Most healthcare administrators work in hospitals, physician’s offices, and nursing care facilities.

National median annual salary: $101,340

Median annual salary in Connecticut: $103,470

Job outlook: Healthcare administration professionals are expected to increase 32% from 2020 to 2030, with 51,800 openings annually.

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

What they do: APRNs have passed the NCLEX-RN exam, obtained an advanced practice nursing degree, and have become licensed to care for patients across the lifespan. Also referred to as nurse practitioners, APRNs are primary and specialty care providers who deliver advanced nursing services to patients and their families.

Where they work: Most nurse practitioners work in physician’s offices, hospitals, and outpatient centers.

National median annual salary: $120,680

Median annual salary in Connecticut: $125,360

Job outlook: The nurse practitioners are projected to increase 52% from 2020 to 2030, with 11,490 job openings expected yearly.

MPH vs. MSN: Which Degree is Right for You?

MPH graduates and MSN graduates of Goodwin University agree that their master’s degree education was an encouraging, fundamental experience that exceeded expectations. Furthermore, Goodwin graduates concur that both healthcare programs provide confidence and personal growth while preparing students for rewarding future careers.

So, how can you know which degree path is right for you? As you consider advancing your career with a graduate degree, be sure to think about your long-term professional goals. Do you wish to make an impact in the lives of patients? Or, do you wish to make an impact on the healthcare system more globally? Consider which program aligns best with your aspirations and take the next step towards a successful future in healthcare.

Learn more about the MSN and MPH degree programs available to you, in fully online formats for working graduate students. Call Goodwin at 800-889-3282 to learn more.