The Academic Health Department (AHD) is a bridge between the Tennessee Department of Public Health and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. This unique organization’s goal was to bridge public health academia and practice in order to improve the public healthcare system.
The Institute of Medicines study, which was named The Future of Public Health, identified a disconnect between academic programs and public health and the actual practice of public health of the community. Therefore, they establish an academic program in public health medicine that revolutionized workforce training and education, as well as, research and resources.
The AHD provides an opportunity for graduate students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. The AHT has three focus areas which include; Practice–based Research, Student Education & Practice–informed Teaching and Workforce Development. This program has improved public health outcomes.
There are a variety of different critical roles for the public health nurse. They work with individuals, families and the community at large. If you are considering returning to school for your graduate degree, public health nursing has a wealth of opportunities that may very well enhance your career goals.
There are multiple universities in Tennessee that offer master’s level nursing degrees, and there are several programs you may complete online.
The University of Tennessee Knoxville admission requirements include; a bachelors degree from an accredited university,minimum GPA of 3.0, a TN, RN license, GRE scores, three letters of reference, resume/CV and a statement of educational and career goals.
The required 34 credit hour curriculum for Community Health Education degree includes:
- Environmental Health Science
- Public Healthcare policy and Administration
- Fundamentals of Program Evaluation
- Principles of Epidemiology
- Health and Society
- Research Methods in Health
- Theory, Program Development and Implementation
- Community Health Assessment
- Professional Skills Development
- Graduate Seminar in Public Health
Field Practice is 360 hours of work experience is required, and it enables graduating students to utilize public health competencies. There are over 200 agencies and facilities in 32 different states that provide sites for the graduate students.
The financial aid office at the University of Tennessee states the first step in receiving financial aid is to complete the FAFSA application, which is a federal grant based on your income. Their office has information on grants, federal work study, need-based scholarships and student loans. This University also has the Dr. June D. Gorski Scholarship Endowment for graduate students studying public health. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing also has a wealth of information for assistance on their website. If you are ready to return for your graduate degree, and your finances are a problem, then be sure to seek out information from your university and the website.
Public health nurses with graduate degrees may have job opportunities in a variety of settings that include nonprofit organizations, government public health departments, schools, correctional facilities and industry.
A Medical and Health Services Manager is a position for a graduate prepared public health nurse. A graduate nurse often directs and supervises the work activities of nurses, technical, clerical, service and other personnel. Their position often entails communication between governing boards, medical staff and department heads as well. In Tennessee, in 2014, a person in this position earned an average annual wage of $92,810 according to O*Net Online. The projected growth for this position is 22 percent higher.
A graduate degree may fulfill your career goals, as you may have the opportunity to be a chief executive. You will have earned the respect of your peers as well.