Public Health Nursing

The need for public health nurse leaders is expected to grow significantly in the coming decade due to the increasing frequency of natural and environmental disasters and public health emergencies, climate change, an aging population and growing concerns about health disparities and social justice issues. COVID-19 has revealed deep gaps within an already fragmented U.S. health care system, heightening the need for team-based care, infection control, person-centered care and other skills that capitalize on the strengths of nurses.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Public Health Nursing prepares nurses to apply knowledge, skills and abilities to respond to these events using evidence from research to design, implement and evaluate population-based interventions and to lead efforts to advance public health initiatives at the local, state, tribal, federal and global levels. Students in this program can choose between the Advanced Public Health Nursing and Occupational Health Nursing tracks.

Public Health Nursing Courses and Practicum Experiences

The program requires eight semesters, including coursework and three practicum experiences. Full- and part-time options are available and course scheduling is flexible.

Public health-specific courses include:

  • Principles of Public Health Negotiation and Mediation
  • Environmental Public Health
  • Global Health
  • Principles of Public Health Ethics, Equity, and Advocacy
  • Leveraging Analytics and Business Intelligence Tools for Healthcare
  • Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
  • Epidemiological Methods in Healthcare
  • Informatics for DNP Practice

Practicums are designed to immerse students in public health roles where they can apply the skills and knowledge developed in the program.

  • Practicum I focuses on population health care service delivery. Students work with an organization to critically appraise its funding, structure and history and assist with a project related to evaluation, assessment, funding and/or care delivery.

  • Practicum II focuses on integrating theory and evidence-based leadership models to implement and evaluate effective interventions for populations. Students address an identified population-focused clinical problem by partnering with an organization to develop and implement interventions.

  • Practicum III centers on evaluation of the effectiveness of public health interventions/programs. Students incorporate previous coursework to complete a culminating project focused on the evaluation of a new or pre-existing intervention or program.

More Information

Contact the Office of Student Recruitment at 513-558-8400 or