Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, RN, PHNCNS-BC, FAAOHN
The Master of Science program in Community Health Nursing prepares nurses for leadership as advanced public health nurses in management, education, clinical practice, leadership, policy development, and advocacy.
The program offers three routes of entry for Registered Nurses seeking a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The pathways to the Master of Science Degree are:
Traditional Entry: For students with a BS degree in Nursing.
Bridge Program: For Registered Nurses with a Non-Nursing BA or BS degree.
RN-to-MS Fast Track: For associate-degree or diploma-prepared Registered Nurses seeking to proceed directly to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree.
The program consists of both coursework and a practicum. This specialty offers leadership preparation for nurses desiring expertise in population-based community/public health nursing practice. Students ground their studies in the science of nursing intervention, public health, and nursing research. They then focus on courses that examine the basis of assessment and intervention of populations, integrating the study of health determinants and health disparities. Practicum experiences are arranged to meet the individual needs of students while also meeting accreditation and certification requirements.
In addition to completing core studies in the specialty, students also gain skills in evidence-based practice, program evaluation, informatics, teaching/learning, health economics, health care policy, environmental health, and epidemiology. A final project that is a systematic investigation of a practice problem is planned, implemented, and completed during the program.
Completion of the required community/public health nursing coursework and practice hours provides eligibility to sit for the Advanced Public Health Nurse certification examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
The clinical component of the program allows for students to develop concentrations in one of the following areas:
· Public Health
· Home Health Care
· Ambulatory Care
· Case Management
· Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing
· School Nursing
· Emergency Preparedness
· Nursing Education
Specialty Area Information:
The Advanced Public Health Nurse is actively engaged in education (e.g. community, staff, students, and colleagues), case management, expert clinical practice, consultation, research, and administration.
The Advanced Public Health Nurse is a leader in population-based health care practice, and the implementation of this role is based on the American Nurses Association Public Health Nursing: Score and Standards for Practice competencies and will vary across settings. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center examination for certification as an Advanced Public Health Nurse.
With increasing demand for health professionals who have expertise in promoting the health of population groups, graduates of the community health nursing specialty are well positioned to assume leadership roles in the evolving health care field. The Community Health Nursing area of study provides a foundation of knowledge and practical experiences in the following areas:
public health sciences including biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, systems thinking, leadership, informatics, health policy and management.
advanced population-focused assessment, program planning, and intervention,
advanced development and evaluation of health promotion programs,
approaches to work with culturally diverse and high-risk populations,
social justice and social action, and