The Nevada Campaign for Action group of Nevada along with the leaders of the nursing industry are working hard to transform the Nevada nursing workforce by utilizing evidence grounded with in-depth analysis and sound research. They are drafting strategic initiatives that take nursing to the next level as their goal is to retain the nursing staff and attract new nurses for this highly regarded profession. They encourage nurses to return to school for higher degrees, which may make this the perfect time for you to enroll in college to earn your graduate degree.
There are numerous graduate programs, which give you a wide variety of choices to meet your career goals. Some of the available master's degree in nursing programs in Nevada include; Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator and Nurse Midwife. Graduate nursing education is designed to prepare you for advanced practice in a changing healthcare environment. These programs provide a strong foundation for evidence–based practice, leadership and critical thinking.
Some of the typical Nevada master’s in nursing programs have admission requirements that may include:
- Bachelor's degree from accredited institution in nursing
- Official transcripts from every college or university attended
- GPA of 3.0 or better
- Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field
- An unencumbered Nevada RN License
- The GRE must be taken within five years of application
- Three letters of reference that meet the university graduate school requirements
- MPH, international students must have a TOEFL score of at least 600 and have a minimum of 12 credits of undergraduate work in health and wellness-related disciplines with a GPA of 3.0
There may be additional requirements according to your chosen program specialty. One of the more relevant specialties may be that of public health, as the U.S. continues to deal with epidemics, disaster training and community-wide preparedness for many different health concerns.
The University of Nevada offers a dual degree, which is the Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Public Health and requires approximately 78-90+ credit hours for graduation. This program offers two tracks, (Epidemiology or Social and Behavioral Health). The Social and Behavioral Health concentration is designed to cover health promotion, prevention and health education, while the Epidemiology program covers the fundamental science underlying public health, as well as, the study the distribution of diseases, injuries and disabilities in the population.
The core course work curriculum for public health includes:
- Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Health
- Health and Environment
- Epidemiology in Public Health
- Biostatistics in Public Health
- Healthcare policy and Administration
- Research Methods for Public Health
- Intro to Knowledge Development & Scientific Inquiry
- Health Care Policy & Social Justice
- Population/Aggregate Health Care Issues
- Advanced Nursing Care of Specialize Populations
Upon graduation you may apply for the credential given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for Public Health Nursing–Advanced. The examination has been retired, so you can receive a certification by submitting a portfolio of evidence that documents your specialized knowledge and skills. The portfolio must articulate your performance in four domains of practice, which include; Professional Development, Professional and Ethical Nursing Practice, Teamwork and Collaboration and Quality and Safety. The portfolio is peered–reviewed by a team of nursing experts, and if you have met the eligibility requirements you will be awarded the credential of Advance Public Health Nursing–Board Certified. The cost for an American Nurse Association member is $470 and nonmembers pay $525.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2013 Advanced Practice Nurses who have specialized in an area earn a median annual income of $77,870. If you are a nurse with a dual degree you may have a variety of job opportunities due to your specialist education. Your employment history, a credential and the employer also impact your salary. Some job opportunities may include being a Public Health Director of Nursing, Advisor in Nutrition and Health or an Education Associate for Public Health.
If you are seeking financial help for your tuition, visit the Financial Aid Office of your university and complete the FAFSA application, which is a Federal grant and loan program. The Health Resources and Services Administration also offers a loan repayment program called NURSE Corps, which requires you to work for two years in one of their facilities, and they pay 60 percent of your unpaid nursing student loans. The federal government also has low-interest loans.
The University of Nevada has the Dan Mordecan Educational Scholarship Award, which is available for nursing graduate students. The award is $1000, and you must write a 100-word essay about your career goals to apply. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing also have a long list of financial aid programs on their webpage.
This may be a good time for you to consider returning to nursing school in Nevada for a graduate degree as it may open the door to the type of career that will give you a sense of satisfaction, and any degree your choose can help the field of nursing as a whole.