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Public Health
Online Programs - Nursing


Advance your career in public health nursing

Herzing University offers unique pathways for current Registered Nurses (RN) to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Public Health.

Public Health Nurse Reviewing Strategy with Healthcare Team

Public Health Nurse Smiling with Team of Healthcare Professionals

Nurse Practitioner Smiling with Patient

8-28 Mo.

Program length






Degree required

Herzing's online public health program pathways

AccreditationCCNE accredited,1 Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
OptionsOptions for nurses who hold an ADN/ASN, BSN, or MSN
Paying for schoolScholarships and financial aid available for those who qualify; transfer approved credit from prior college coursework to reduce cost and time
FormatFlexible online study with multiple start dates
ClinicalsWe pledge your clinical placement; total clinical practicum hours vary by program
QuickPathsTransfer credit, stackable credentials, and adaptive learning technology build a faster pathway to a higher education with Herzing University
Waived enrollment fee Classes start May 6th

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Discover your potential

Get in touch to learn more about our school and how we can help you reach your highest career goals.

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U.S. News 2024 Best online Programs Grad Nursing

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online graduate nursing programs in 2024

MSN Clinical Placement Pledge Herzing Badge

Your clinical placement is our pledge.

We understand securing clinical placement is one of the biggest concerns students face. At Herzing, we offer guidance and support through our step-by-step Clinical Guidance Process to ensure you can get the clinical practice experiences you need.

As a Herzing student, we’ll encourage you to find your own preceptor and clinical sites as there are many benefits to doing so. However, we provide extensive support should you find difficulty along the way. With Herzing, you are never on your own.

Because of our strong relationships with healthcare providers across the U.S. and our comprehensive Clinical Guidance Process, we are confident in our ability to help you find clinical placement. So much so that if you are unable to find a clinical site on your own, we pledge to step in and help you secure clinical placement.*

* Subject to terms and conditions outlined in the enrollment agreement.

Scholarship Opportunities

We are proud to have awarded $10+ million in scholarships and grants to nursing students in 2023.

An affordable, career-focused education is possible with Herzing University.

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Tuition & Cost

Tuition & Cost

Our goal is your career advancement. That’s why we are always working to improve our curriculums and processes to make our public health program as affordable as possible while preparing you best for success in your work.

The cost of tuition for our Public Health program options is $615 per credit. Overall cost can be reduced through transfer credit from prior college coursework, scholarships and grantsloansVA and military benefits, and several additional options for financial aid.

With Herzing University, you are never alone, and we offer many options to help you invest in yourself, earn your master’s degree in nursing and become a public health nurse.

  • Pathways to Success

    Many of our online programs offer pathways for continued learning, which allow you to move from one degree, such as an associate degree, to a bachelor’s degree, to a master’s degree.

  • Flexible and Convenient

    Earn your degree from the comfort of your own home. There are no designated times you must be online. You can log into your virtual classroom when it’s convenient for you.

  • Personalized Attention

    At Herzing, being online does not mean being alone.You’ll receive the same personalized attention and career-focused education that we offer in our traditional classroom.

  • Online and/or On-Campus

    Get the best of both worlds. Some of our degree programs are offered exclusively online and some programs are offered as a combination of both campus and online classes.

I don’t have a nursing degree. Where do I start?

There are multiple potential educational pathways in nursing that could be right for you:

  • Our on-campus Accelerated BSN program, available at select Herzing campuses, allows you to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in as few as 20 months (most students complete in 24 months). Eligible for students who have already earned a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
  • If you have not yet earned an undergraduate degree in any major, you will need to first enroll in a pre-licensure Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or BSN program.
  • MSN Direct Entry program. Start working towards a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) right from the start in our online direct entry MSN program. You can graduate in as few as 20 months.

Once you’ve earned a nursing degree, you can become eligible to enroll in a public health MSN, RN to MSN, or post master's certificate program.

Nursing School Students with Nurse Teacher

Frequently Asked Questions

After earning a master’s degree you may pursue further nursing credentials in a post-master’s certificate in nursing program. Herzing offers multiple certificate options with concentrations in:

After earning master's-level preparation in the specialty of your choosing, you can then advance to the doctorate level by enrolling in our online Post Master's DNP program.

Earning an MSN or DNP represents a huge step forward in your education, but there is always more to learn. We are your lifelong partner in learning, dedicated to helping you earn the education needed to reach your highest career goals.

Salaries in the public health nursing specialty can vary widely depending on your education, experience, and state of employment.

In the case of your first entry-level nursing job in public health, you may not be required to advance your education to the master’s level to qualify. Registered nurses across all specialties earn an average salary of $89,010 per year ($42.80 per hour), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).*

Earning a master’s degree can help you qualify for upper-level managerial and leadership positions in public health nursing. The BLS reports the average salary for medical and health service managers is $127,980 per year ($61.53 per hour).*

It’s right in the name—the MSN in Public Health is a nursing degree designed for current RNs, while an MPH is designed for non-nursing professionals.

Enroll in an MSN in Public Health and you’ll take nursing specific courses covering topics such as technology and nursing informatics, research methods, evidence-based practice, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and much more. You’ll have the opportunity to pursue the public health track while continuing to advance your nursing knowledge and skills.

“Public” and “community” nursing are terms often used interchangeably—but they aren’t necessarily the same thing.

Community health nurses typically work directly with individuals, families, and groups to achieve better health outcomes.

Public health nurses usually take a broader approach to patient populations. They focus on advocating for change in systems, reforming policy, and health promotion.

In general—community health nurses directly help people make the best use of the systems in place, while public health nurses focus on improving those systems.

Of course, there are several factors behind why jobs are named the way they are. When you start looking for jobs in public health or community health nursing, be sure to thoroughly read through the job description to determine if it’s the right kind of role for your skillset and preferences.

Public health nurse refers to a broad category of different types of nurses focused heavily on education and illness prevention. Common types of community and public health nurses include school nurse, maternal and child health nurse, occupational health nurse, and case management nurse.

PHNs with advanced education and experience can qualify to become a consultant or lead a team as a director or manager of a team of nurses.

One of the top certifications for public health professionals is the Certified in Public Health (CPH) certification from the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE). You’ll need a combination of education and experience to qualify to sit for the exam.1

You may not need to be certified to earn every type of job in public health nursing. However, CPH certification can separate your resume from the rest, and shows employers you’ve got the knowledge, skills, and experience to excel in the position.

1. You must meet specific eligibility criteria to sit for the CPH exam. The Herzing University MSN program in Public Health is not accredited by CEPH.

A Public Health Nurse (PHN) can work in a variety of community-based roles. They assess, evaluate, and implement interventions to improve health systems and policies. Their work can involve smaller communities or larger public and global patient populations.

Some job responsibilities can include health education, case management, program planning, policy development, epidemiology and disease prevention, and much more.

Learn more about what public health nurses do, including examples of the different kinds of work you can do and the skills required for success in the field.


Accreditation & Disclosures

1. The master’s degree program in nursing at Herzing University Madison is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( Herzing University is approved to offer programs in an online learning modality through association with the main campus in Madison, Wisconsin.

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

Eligible states for enrollment: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District Of Columbia.

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