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  • Online MSN in Public Health Nursing

    As healthcare continues to evolve, there is an increased need for nurses trained in public health. Drexel University’s online MSN in Public Health Nursing aims to meet that need, training you to use a systems-thinking clinical approach to advocate for resources and policies to improve the health of all populations, locally and globally. This is an interdisciplinary degree that provides the opportunity to take online courses through Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions as well as the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health. This blend of nursing education and public health foundational knowledge culminates in a capstone project, where you’ll take what you’ve learned throughout the MSN public health nursing program and apply it to a real-world public health issue.

    MSN in Public Health Nursing Program At a Glance:

    • 45 quarter credits
    • 100% online
    • Courses taught by nursing and public health experienced faculty from Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Dornsife School of Public Health
    • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits the master’s degree in nursing at Drexel University
    • The Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
    • Those who consistently take two courses per quarter will finish in two years, one class a quarter will take closer to four years
    • Consistently ranked among the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by U.S. News & World Report
    • A three-year tuition lock for those who complete the program within 3 years

    What will I learn in the MSN in Public Health Nursing?

    In Drexel’s online MSN in Public Health Nursing, you’ll learn to:

    • Practice within a legal and ethical framework of healthcare delivery
    • Deepen the role of advanced nursing practice in the healthcare system through scholarship, clinical experience, and political involvement
    • Demonstrate critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills in clinical decision-making
    • Integrate multiple technologies and relevant theories into the organization and synthesis of health data required to develop plans of care for patients, families, and communities
    • Integrate culturally sensitive health promotion activities that contribute to the health and wellness of the community into clinical practice
    • Demonstrate leadership in nursing and healthcare through involvement in the development of outcome-based standards of care and practice-based health policy issues
    • Evaluate and modify the quality and effectiveness of clinical practice based on current research findings, standards of care, and patient outcomes
    • Contribute to the advancement of nursing, healthcare, and humanity through communication, collaboration, and education

    What Does It Mean to Be a Public Health Nurse?

    Qualities and Responsibilities of a Public Health Nurse
    Public health nurses look to improve the health of all populations, both locally and globally, in a variety of practice settings. Drexel’s MSN in Public Health Nursing prepares you to improve population health through prevention efforts, attention to determinants of health, advocacy, policy development, and planning to address issues of social justice and health equity. You’ll use your clinical expertise and systems-level thinking to assess the challenges and opportunities faced on both an individual and population level, and translate this into action for public good.

    What Can You Do with an MSN in Public Health?

    Public Health Nursing Careers
    The MSN in Public Health Nursing is designed to prepare you for a career as a nurse leader in local, state, federal, and global agencies, schools, home health agencies, and wellness centers. However, you can apply this degree to a number of different positions within the healthcare field. Some common job titles this degree prepares you for are:

    • Public Health Nurse
    • Public Health Information Officer
    • Public Health Educator
    • Health and Wellness Manager/Director
    • Health Services Manager/Director
    • Health Program Coordinator
    • Surveillance and Population Health Specialist
    • Public Health Analyst
    • Public Health Advisor
    • Research Science Officer

    How to Become a Public Health Nurse

    As a public health nurse, you will be required to utilize clinical nursing skills and public health education to treat and improve health on a community, national, and global level. Rather than treating each patient individually, you will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients on a much larger scale. This program will prepare you to care for populations of people. Additionally, after graduating from Drexel University with your MSN: Public Health Nursing, combined with 3 years of public health work experience, you will be eligible to sit for the National Board of Public Health Examiners Certificate in Public Health exam.

    How Much Do Public Health Nurses Make?

    MSN Public Health Nurse Salary
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a registered nurse (RN) is $71,730. The job outlook for RNs is expected to grow faster than average, with a projected 12% increase between 2018 and 2028. Payscale.com advises that the average hourly pay for a public health nurse is $28.57 for an annual median salary of $59,180. Exact salaries will vary, however, depending on your exact title, location and years of experience.

    How Long Does It Take to Complete an MSN in Public Health?

    The MSN in Public Health Nursing at Drexel University is a 45-credit degree program. Because Drexel is on a quarter system, you can complete your MSN in as little as two years. If you need a more flexible plan of study to help you balance your work and life, you can go at your own pace, which on average will take you about 4 years to complete the program.

    Drexel University runs on a quarter system, rather than the semester system most universities use. This means you have four terms per academic year, giving you more opportunities to take courses. Learn more about Drexel’s quarter system.

    Online Open Houses

    Learn more about this and other nursing programs from our previously recorded online open house webinar series.

    Questions? We're here to help!

    For application related questions:

    For program related questions:
    College of Nursing and Health Professions Program Team

    Related Programs

    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.
    The MSN: Public Health program at Drexel University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    MSN Core Courses  
    NURS 500 Confronting Issues in Contemporary Health Care Environments 3.0
    NURS 502 Advanced Ethical Decision Making in Health Care 3.0
    NURS 544 Quality and Safety in Healthcare 3.0
    RSCH 503 Research Methods and Biostatistics 3.0
    RSCH 504 Evaluation and Translation of Health Research 3.0
    Public Health Courses  
    CHP 561 Overview of Issues in Global Health 3.0
    HMP 505 Qualitative Data and Mixed Methods Analysis 3.0
    PBLH 510 Public Health Foundations and Systems I 3.0
    PBLH 511 Public Health Foundations and Systems II 3.0
    Nursing Courses  
    IPS 511 Collaboration with Vulnerable Populations 3.0
    NURS 531
    or EPI 570
    Epidemiology in Action: Tracking Health & Disease
    or Introduction to Epidemiology

    NURS 532 Evaluation of Health Outcomes 3.0
    NURS 665 Advanced Nursing Practice in Population Health 5.0
    Elective (Nursing or Public Health) 3.0
    Total Credits 46.0

    View a Sample Plan of Study
    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a program fully accredited by CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education), ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing), or NLN CNEA (NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation)
      • Nurses with a non-nursing bachelor's may consider applying for the RN-BSN-MSN program to earn both a BSN and MSN concurrently, or apply to the RN to MSN Bridge Program
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 
      • If your GPA is lower, you're still encouraged to apply, but should ensure that relevant professional experience is included on your resume. You must also provide two professional letters of recommendation from either previous or immediate supervisors or former faculty members who can attest to your clinical knowledge, skill, and potential aptitude for graduate study.
    • A current, unrestricted United States RN license

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • Two professional letters of recommendation from either previous or immediate supervisors or former faculty members who can attest to your clinical knowledge, skill, and potential aptitude for graduate study
      • If you have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, this requirement can be waived
    • Personal statement (800 to 1,600 words) that will give the admissions committee a better understanding of:
      • Why you are choosing this particular track
      • How your current work experience will enhance your experience in this program, and
      • Your plans upon completing the degree
    • Resume including specific details of your responsibilities and job experiences
    • A copy of your United States RN license (License verification from your nursing license registry website is acceptable)
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2024-2025 is $1134 per credit. (A 10% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $1260 per credit)

    For the academic year 2024-2025, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.

    Additional Equipment/Lab Fees

    Scholarship Opportunities

    At Drexel, we understand that developing a plan to finance your education is a critical step in your decision-making process. That's why we encourage students who require financial aid to fill out the FAFSA as early in the application process as possible. Learn more about Drexel's financial aid policies. In addition, nursing students are encouraged to visit the AACN to review the many scholarship opportunities that exist through the organization.


    Academic Calendar

    2023-2024 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2023

    September 26, 2023

    December 9, 2023

    December 11, 2023

    December 16, 2023

    Winter 2024

    January 8, 2024

    March 16, 2024

    March 18, 2024

    March 23, 2024

    Spring 2024

    April 1, 2024

    June 8, 2024

    June 10, 2024

    June 15, 2024

    Summer 2024

    June 24, 2024

    August 31, 2024

    September 3, 2024

    September 7, 2024


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