Master of Science in Nursing Public & Population Health Online

Improve community-wide health initiatives by sharing your unique nursing expertise and perspective.

Apply by: 3/1/24
Start Class: 3/18/24
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Program Overview

See how valuable our MSN Public & Population Health degree can be

$15,750 Tuition
As few as 18 months Program Duration
35 Credit Hours

The Master of Science in Nursing - Public and Population Health online program at Worcester State prepares you to positively impact societal healthcare outcomes while progressing in your role as a professional nurse. With public health concerns on the rise, nurses prepared to engage in community-based intervention models are needed to lead the way toward a healthier society. This online MSN program meets demand by broadening your nursing scope and qualifying you to reach wider audiences.

As part of the curriculum, you will explore the most relevant issues in today’s large-scale health industry and gain the opportunity to specialize your studies in global and cross-cultural health or health systems transformation. Throughout every course, you will learn from our experienced faculty who are experts in their field. In fact, the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing at Worcester State is one of seven U.S. nursing schools singled out for its innovative population health curriculum and best practices by the AACN and the CDC in their Academic Partnerships to Improve Health (APIH) initiative.

This rigorous academic program prepares you for evidence-based nursing practice with a growing focus on multidisciplinary care and the nurse’s role as leader and manager of the client’s health care. Our graduate level curriculum reflects the core knowledge for all master’s programs in nursing as defined in The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. These Essentials are core for all master’s programs in nursing and provide the necessary curricular elements and framework, regardless of focus, major, or intended practice setting.

The comprehensive MSN Public & Population Health degree leads you to advanced community roles that even an MPH cannot, such as expanded nursing positions, unique teaching opportunities, and global clinical healthcare service and prepares you for further post-graduate or doctoral study.

Have questions or need more information about online programs?

The master’s degree programs in nursing at Worcester State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

In this MSN Public & Population Health online program, you will:

  • Learn to use evidence-informed decision-making models and analytic skills to nimbly respond to pressing societal needs
  • Become equipped with leading-edge, interdisciplinary research to lead sustainable change in community and population health practice
  • Develop skills to serve vulnerable populations and communities through intensive practicum internship
  • Build a professional network from a wide range of disciplines

  • Learn to use evidence-informed decision-making models and analytic skills to nimbly respond to pressing societal needs
  • Become equipped with leading-edge, interdisciplinary research to lead sustainable change in community and population health practice
  • Develop skills to serve vulnerable populations and communities through intensive practicum internship
  • Build a professional network from a wide range of disciplines

Career Outcomes:

  • Education: Nursing Faculty, Manager of School Health Services, RN to BSN Program Director
  • Health Care: Division Director, Care Manager, Chronic Disease Program Manager, Director of Clinical Services
  • Government: Community Health Director, Public Health Nursing Fellow/Advisor, U.S. Public Health Service Nurse, Equity & Environment Program Manager
  • Tribal Institutions: Community Health Program Supervisor
  • Nonprofit: Program Director, Mental Health Project Manager, Regional Director of Health Equity, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Business: Self-Employed Public Health Nurse Consultant, Employee Health Nurse and Program Supervisor

  • Education: Nursing Faculty, Manager of School Health Services, RN to BSN Program Director
  • Health Care: Division Director, Care Manager, Chronic Disease Program Manager, Director of Clinical Services
  • Government: Community Health Director, Public Health Nursing Fellow/Advisor, U.S. Public Health Service Nurse, Equity & Environment Program Manager
  • Tribal Institutions: Community Health Program Supervisor
  • Nonprofit: Program Director, Mental Health Project Manager, Regional Director of Health Equity, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Business: Self-Employed Public Health Nurse Consultant, Employee Health Nurse and Program Supervisor

In this MSN Public & Population Health online program, you will:

  • Learn to use evidence-informed decision-making models and analytic skills to nimbly respond to pressing societal needs
  • Become equipped with leading-edge, interdisciplinary research to lead sustainable change in community and population health practice
  • Develop skills to serve vulnerable populations and communities through intensive practicum internship
  • Build a professional network from a wide range of disciplines

  • Learn to use evidence-informed decision-making models and analytic skills to nimbly respond to pressing societal needs
  • Become equipped with leading-edge, interdisciplinary research to lead sustainable change in community and population health practice
  • Develop skills to serve vulnerable populations and communities through intensive practicum internship
  • Build a professional network from a wide range of disciplines

Career Outcomes:

  • Education: Nursing Faculty, Manager of School Health Services, RN to BSN Program Director
  • Health Care: Division Director, Care Manager, Chronic Disease Program Manager, Director of Clinical Services
  • Government: Community Health Director, Public Health Nursing Fellow/Advisor, U.S. Public Health Service Nurse, Equity & Environment Program Manager
  • Tribal Institutions: Community Health Program Supervisor
  • Nonprofit: Program Director, Mental Health Project Manager, Regional Director of Health Equity, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Business: Self-Employed Public Health Nurse Consultant, Employee Health Nurse and Program Supervisor

  • Education: Nursing Faculty, Manager of School Health Services, RN to BSN Program Director
  • Health Care: Division Director, Care Manager, Chronic Disease Program Manager, Director of Clinical Services
  • Government: Community Health Director, Public Health Nursing Fellow/Advisor, U.S. Public Health Service Nurse, Equity & Environment Program Manager
  • Tribal Institutions: Community Health Program Supervisor
  • Nonprofit: Program Director, Mental Health Project Manager, Regional Director of Health Equity, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Business: Self-Employed Public Health Nurse Consultant, Employee Health Nurse and Program Supervisor
Have questions or need more information about online programs?

Also Available:

Tuition

Take advantage of our pay-by-the-course tuition

Worcester State tuition is extremely affordable. Plus, you can pay by the course—making it easy to budget. Worcester State is committed to offering a high-quality education that is accessible to students at all levels of financial need.

$450 Per Credit Hour
$15,750* Tuition
Program Per Credit Hour Per Program
MSN Public & Population Health $450 $15,750

Additional Fees

Application: $50

*Worcester State reserves the right to change tuition and fees at any time.
Accelerated online programs are not eligible for tuition remission benefits, waivers and vouchers.

Calendar

Our course schedule is designed for flexibility

It's always a good time to earn your degree from Worcester State University online. We offer six start dates during the year so you can begin your program when it's most convenient. Check out the chart below for important dates.

Now enrolling:
3/1/24 Next Application Due Date
3/18/24 Next Class Start Date
SessionStart DateApplication DeadlineRegistration DeadlineDocument DeadlineTuition DeadlineLast Class Day
Spring I1/22/241/5/241/17/241/12/241/17/243/10/24
Spring 23/18/243/1/243/13/243/8/243/13/245/5/24
Summer 15/13/244/26/245/8/245/3/245/8/246/30/24
Summer 27/8/246/21/247/3/246/28/247/3/248/25/24
Fall 19/9/248/23/249/4/248/30/249/4/2410/27/24
Fall 211/4/2410/18/2410/30/2410/25/2410/30/2412/22/24
Spring I1/27/251/10/251/22/251/17/251/22/253/16/25
Summer 15/18/255/2/255/14/255/9/255/14/257/6/25
Summer 27/14/256/27/257/9/257/4/257/9/258/31/25
Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Worcester State University?

Admissions

Apply for our online MSN Public & Population Health degree today

The admission process is the first step toward earning your degree at Worcester State. Please read the admission guidelines to ensure you qualify.

BSN Degree from a regionally accredited institution
2.75 GPA or higher
RN License active and unencumbered

In addition to Worcester State University Graduate admission criteria, applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing Program must:

  • Have achieved a GPA of 2.75 in undergraduate study. Applicants may seek conditional admission with a GPA of 2.5 if they have demonstrated substantive growth as a professional nurse.
  • Have Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from an accredited program and regionally accredited university.
  • Hold a current unencumbered license to practice professional nursing in one of the states where practicum is approved, which include MA, RI, CT, ME, NH, NY and SC (contact [email protected] if you would l like to complete practicum in another state)

Please note: Two professional references and a career essay are required of all Graduate student applicants. These must be submitted during the online application process.

Official transcripts may be mailed or emailed directly from the granting institution(s) to:

Mailing Address:

Graduate Admissions Office
Worcester State University
486 Chandler Street
Worcester, MA 01602

Email: [email protected]

Courses

See all the courses in our MSN Public & Population Health program

For the Master of Science in Nursing - Public and Population Health online, you are required to take 11 courses for a total of 35 credit hours.

Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Public and population health nursing is shaped by social, behavioral, cultural, and demographic factors that impact healthcare at multiple levels. In this course, students develop an understanding of the history of public health and public health nursing, public health law and ethics, system infrastructure, and health equity and health disparities. Students analyze theories and research that will assist them in understanding the social determinants of health. Students develop models to assess and deliver healthcare to promote a culture of health in identified populations.

​Upon completion of NU 952 the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective communication with individuals, support systems, community resources, and interdisciplinary health care members.
  • Apply the core competencies pertinent to community/public health nursing which are community and population focused.
  • Apply the mission, vision and goals of Health People 2020 in achieving health equity, eliminating disparity and improving the health of all groups.
  • Define the basic concepts of evidence-based decision-making.
  • Demonstrate how to locate information on evidence-based approaches in the literature.
  • Describe the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to public health.
  • Describe several applications within public health practice that are based on evidence.
  • Define barriers to evidence-based decision-making in public health settings.
  • Discuss emerging public health issues.
  • Analyze theories and research as they apply to population health.

Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
In this course, students examine the role of federal, state, and local government in the assurance of public health through health policy and law. Consideration is given to contemporary policy, law and regulatory issues arising in public health practice, as well as to the economics and financing of public health programs. Advocacy, political, and creative processes as they relate to the formulation, implementation, and modification of health policy are examined and discussed. Students also learn how to structure and write a health policy analysis.

​Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the various influencers of health policy and politics including stakeholders, media, history, ethics and political processes.
  • Discuss nursing considerations when examining policy at various levels including local, state, federal and global.
  • Compare and identify differences between U.S. Health Care and existing Global Health Care Policies.
  • Critique existing health policy and provide informed recommendations.
  • Apply policy concepts to explore the nurses’ various roles in health care policy development.
  • Design a health policy through assessment, analysis and development that can impact patients, populations or health care systems, demonstrating nursing knowledge and leadership.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Nurses base practice on sound and tested evidence to ensure the safety, high quality, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. Students have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the development and relationship of nursing theory, research, and public and population health nursing practice. Students explore the role of nursing theory in both research and practice. They examine research literature to differentiate and critique various research designs, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method models; appraise statistical data; and analyze evidence. Critical evaluation of research for decision-making to enhance public and population health practice is emphasized.

​Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Illustrate the role of research in development of nursing knowledge and practice
  • Explain the role of evidence-based practice in determining best clinical practice
  • Develop skills necessary to perform a literature review of clinical topic and related research
  • Critique nursing research and assess the application to professional nursing practice
  • Describe aspects of a research critique
  • Discuss ethical and legal considerations in health care research
  • Access and apply relevant information needed to answer questions in nursing practice using appropriate scholarly databases available through technology.
  • Utilize the research process to address an identified question in nursing.
  • Interpret results of quantitative and qualitative data analysis
  • Critically examine research using established criteria.
  • Analyze the implications of research studies for evidence-based practice
  • Evaluate the application of ethical principles to nursing research
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Students in this course are provided with an overview of epidemiologic methodology in the study of the distribution and etiology of disease and health-related conditions in human populations. Students examine common epidemiologic study designs and discuss the strengths and weaknesses inherent in each. They explore and discuss select global problems, such as the global burden of communicable and non-communicable disease, environmental threats to health, bioterrorism, and effects of disasters and emergencies. Students will apply epidemiologic and biostatistical methods to study factors related to aggregate, population, and individual health.

​By the end of the semester, students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • Define population health and its applications in both the clinical and community settings.
  • Calculate commonly used epidemiological measures for morbidity, mortality, and trends in birth and natality.
  • Interpret commonly used epidemiological measures for morbidity, mortality, and trends in birth and natality.
  • Account for how descriptive variables (person, place, and time characteristics) influence variation in health status.
  • Relate prevention of disease outbreaks to modes of transmission and tracking.
  • Calculate measures of association for randomized controlled cohort, case-control (matched and unmatched), cross-sectional studies, and nested designs including relative risk, odds ratio, estimated odds, prevalence ratios, and odds.
  • Interpret measures of association for randomized controlled cohort, case-control (matched and unmatched), cross-sectional studies, and nested designs including relative risk, odds ratio, estimated odds, prevalence ratios, and odds
  • Design contingency tables for cohort, case-control (matched and unmatched), and cross-sectional designs.
  • Rank study designs with respect to their validity of causal inferences.
  • Identify the study designs strengths, limitations, and unique features.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course introduces population and public health informatics, the field devoted to the optimal use of data, information, and knowledge to advance individual health, health care, public health, and health-related research. Healthcare research topics covered include evidence-based practice, use of large databases, data mining, consumer information, health promotion and maintenance, and quality assessment. The management of health data in the achievement of healthcare organization objectives is emphasized. Students will learn the application of informatics in areas of public health, including surveillance, prevention, preparedness, and health promotion. Application activities will include public and population health data analysis, visualization of data, answering questions using information retrieval methods, and performing simple association analysis. Prerequisites: NU-952 and NU-953 and NU-954 and NU-955.

Upon completion of NU 956 the student will be able to:

  • Describe how health informatics systems and tools can contribute to improved population health activities
  • Compare and contrast the various fields within informatics (e.g., biomedical informatics, public health informatics, consumer informatics
  • Identify and describe strengths and weaknesses in system implementations
  • Identify challenges using population health sources, including issues related to big data, interoperability and population segmentation.
  • Document use cases, business requirements, and test plans for a technology implementation and ongoing system maintenance and upgrades
  • Understand challenges and implications of designing systems while considering secondary use of the data captured (e.g., using Electronic Health Record (EHR) data for public health surveillance or research activities)
  • Describe data and interoperability standards used in public health information systems
  • Strategically think about how an informatics / technology platform can be used to support public health activities
  • Identify issues around Privacy, Confidentiality, Security and Ethics
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
The development of leadership strategies is imperative to the delivery of high-quality, population-based care by the public health system. Students address the application of principles and theories of leadership and management in a public health setting as well as the skills needed for nurses to provide effective leadership across agency partnerships at the local, state, national, and international levels. Special focus is placed on developing collaborative partnerships, systems-based thinking, evidence-based decision making, organizational problem-solving, public health finance and budgeting, accreditation, emergency preparedness, and global health competencies. Prerequisites: NU-952, NU-953, NU-954 and NU-955.

​Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

  • Their potential leadership style and how to use this understanding of themselves in choosing what leadership roles will be a good fit for them.
  • How to identify their strengths and the strengths in others that may report to them in future leadership role. This understanding will shape how they assign tasks to be successful in future projects.
  • How to assess best practice guidance through research to apply to the clinical area
  • How to build a presentation/case to influence stakeholders and funders regarding future decisions in healthcare delivery.
  • Where to find allies and networking regarding best practices in public health to advance knowledge and new trends in public health.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Students are introduced to current public health issues and challenges affecting vulnerable populations around the globe. Particular emphasis is given to the environmental, social, and economic determinants of health and possible intervention strategies for addressing the global burden of disease. Students examine causal links between chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the local and global environment and their impact on health. Using theories, frameworks and methods presented in the course, students assess current solutions and consider new ways to address strategies to promote human health and justice in light of environmental threats, such as waste, water, air, vectors, and global warming as well as issues related to bioterrorism and disaster preparedness and management. Prerequisites: NU-952, NU-953, NU-954 and NU-955.

Upon completion of NU 958 the student will be able to:

  • Apply the nursing process in the practice of global health
  • Identify and describe major global health and environmental issues and concerns in International Country
  • Describe multiple dimensions of global/cultural systems
  • Synthesize different types of data and sources of information to assess global environmental/cultural issues/health disparities
  • Assess global impacts of planned actions when addressing global health and global environmental issues
  • Formulate possible solutions/interventions when addressing global health and environmental issues
  • Analyze and evaluate global or intercultural health issues
  • Explain how cultural beliefs influence behaviors and practices at the individual, organizational, or societal levels on environmental and population health
  • Describe how government structure, culture, and social conditions such as poverty, literacy, and migration impact health and access to health care.
  • Develop a clearly defined research question related to global health international country
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
In this course, students will understand the emerging science of genetics and genomics in public and population health. Students will gain insight of conditions and environmental forces on health from natural and acquired genetic and genomic perspectives. Focusing on screening for genetic risk factors and environmental impacts on the genome the student will describe both local, regional and worldwide impacts.

​At the completion of this course, the student will have met the following course objectives as evidenced through the assessment method(s):

  • Develop an understanding of the emerging science of genetics and genomics in public and population health.
  • Identify the impact of conditions and environmental forces from natural and acquired genetic and genomics on health.
  • Analyze screening for genetic risk factors and environmental impacts on the genome and describe both local, regional and worldwide impact.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Students in this course develops competency in the design, implementation, and evaluation of strategic and program planning. They receive an overview of public health program planning and development, as well as needs and asset assessment. Students focus on the methods required to develop, implement, and evaluate a strategic plan. Students discuss the administration and coordination of public and population health program interventions and activities, and they explore the variety of methods used to facilitate public health research (quantitative, qualitative, and/or mixed-methods) in practice settings. Students engage in course assignments that focus on real-world nursing practice applications of theory.

​Upon completion of NU 962 the student will be able to:

  • Analyze public health program planning and development, as well as needs and asset assessment.
  • Evaluate methods required to develop a strategic plan.
  • Analyze the administration and coordination of public population health program interventions and activities.
  • Describe the variety of methods used to facilitate public health research in practice settings.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 4
In this course, students continue to develop specialized knowledge and skills in advanced public health nursing (PHN) and the delivery of population healthcare within the context of inter-professional practice. Students gain a greater understanding of public health and population health informatics, environmental health issues, evidence-based public health, and the role of advocacy for policy and social change. The focus of the course is on the assessment and development of culturally sensitive interventions targeted at community and population levels through a practicum experience. A minimum of 60 practicum hours will be required as part of this course. Note: Must complete before NU 964.

​Upon completion of NU 963 the student will be able to:

  • Utilize complex data to identify population health assets, needs, and risks.
  • Interpret surveillance data related to the plan and population health status.
  • Identify current theoretical issues relevant to the practice of public/population health nursing at the advanced level, by integrating theory, evidence, clinical judgment, research, and interpersonal perspectives using translational processes to improve practice and associated health outcomes for patient aggregates.
  • Apply epidemiologic methods of analysis to public/population health problems.
  • Synthesize broad, environmental, global, and social determinants of health; principles of genetics and genomics; and epidemiologic data to design and deliver evidence-based, culturally relevant clinical prevention interventions and strategies.

Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 4
As a culminating experience, MS students are provided the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to synthesize and integrate advanced knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program and to apply theory and principles in a public health project focused on social change. For this project, students write a grant proposal for a public health initiative or create a community health program plan. The project must address the needs of a specific population in the student’s field site community. Students are also required to describe how the ANCC Advanced Public Health Nursing Scope and Standards were demonstrated while carrying out the project. A minimum of 60 practicum hours will be required as part of this course. Note: Taken as the last course. NU 963 must be completed prior to this course.

Upon completion of NU 964 the student will be able to:

  • Identify a need and develop an idea from programmatic inception through resource development and implementation.
  • Complete a focused literature review in order to support hypotheses and aims of grant proposal.
  • Produce a succinct assessment of need, develop a consistent and workable program plan, write clearly defined goals and objectives, and identify appropriate monitoring and evaluation measures.
  • Prepare a logic model, to include resources and raw materials in the form of inputs, services and activities in the form of outputs, measurable outputs and impact to address the benefit to community/society.
  • Prepare a complete program budget in a grant format.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the different types of funding sources and identifies where to find this information.
  • Integrate information from program development, literature review, logic model, budget and funding sources to produce a grant, crafted to provide evidence of an appropriate fit with the funding agency and the fitness of the grant team to fulfill the contract.

Course rotation:

View Course Rotation

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