Master of Science in Nursing Public Health MSN Bridge Pathway

Bridge (Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Public Health Nursing)

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Prepare for a Career in Healthcare With the Public Health MSN Bridge Pathway

Offered by the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, the Bridge (Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Public Health) pathway allows experienced RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree to embark on the road to earning a public health MSN degree. Upon completing foundational nursing courses from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you will then enter the bridge MSN pathway with a focus on public health which offers an intensive introduction to key skills and concepts in public health analysis, planning and implementation.

 The requirements for the public health MSN bridge pathway allow you to bridge your knowledge and experience as an RN while gaining knowledge of a new nursing discipline — public health nursing. This bridge pathway:

  • Consists of 24 total credits
  • Has five-week long online classes, with the exception of the capstone course
  • Provides introductory nursing courses to prepare you for your return to formal education
  • Offers a time-effective option for current RNs looking to get into public health nursing

 After completing this public health MSN bridge pathway, you will have the educational background and foundational knowledge you need to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Public Health Nursing program and begin your career in public health. 

Public Health MSN Bridge Pathway Students Master Core Nursing Skills and Principles

As an MSN bridge pathway with a concentration in public health student, you will enroll in seven prerequisite courses that will prepare you for coursework at the graduate level. You will learn to:

  • Assess learning needs, create and implement a health teaching plan and evaluate student learning in both traditional and nontraditional settings
  • Develop prevention, treatment and intervention methods for diverse populations
  • Interpret statistics in order to make decisions 
  • Synthesize research relevant to the nursing and healthcare industry
  • Disseminate information related to health promotion to clients with differing backgrounds
  • Utilize assessment techniques and knowledge of pathophysiology to enhance patient outcomes

 You will have the opportunity to evaluate emergent research, education, policies and treatments that can spark changes to promote health and reduce human disease and illness globally, in local communities, and within specialized populations. 

The MSN in public health culminates with a capstone practicum project, allowing you to demonstrate your ability to solve a real-world public health issue. 

Careers for Public Health MSN Bridge Pathway Graduates

Public health nursing graduates can look forward to pursuing a career in the public health field. By completing this public health MSN bridge pathway, you will not only be prepared to work in advanced care settings, but also be equipped to serve as a public health advocate working to implement change in public and community health organizations.  

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Bridge Pathways FAQs

Read through our frequently asked questions to learn more about completing the MSN public health bridge pathway and earning your public health MSN degree.

The MSN public health nursing bridge pathway is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to pursue a career in public health. This bridge pathway helps you transition into master-level nursing by presenting numerous advanced nursing concepts, and challenging you to think critically. While there is a lot of material to learn, as an experienced RN, you will be able to use your prior knowledge of the nursing field to aid you in your studies and development as a healthcare professional. 

Advancing your career by earning your MSN public health nursing bridge pathway degree can open not only advanced nursing job opportunities, but also non-nursing possibilities in the public health sector. Advanced nursing positions offer promising job growth potential. Job growth for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners is projected to grow by an estimated 40% from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.1

The public health MSN bridge pathway at GCU consists of 24 total credits. All online courses are five weeks in length, with the exception of the 10-week capstone course at the conclusion of the program. 

If you seek to influence and implement change within your community and throughout the public, consider enrolling in the public health MSN bridge pathway at GCU. To learn more about this option, fill out the form on this page to get in contact with a university counselor.

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well.  Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners, retrieved on March 17, 2023. 

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Total Credits: 24
Online: 5 weeks
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Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $340 per credit [More Info]

Course List

24 credits
Degree Requirements:
24 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education, the role of the professional nurse, and the importance of effective nursing leadership. Standards of practice, differentiated nursing practice, professional accountability, interprofessional collaboration, and quality improvement are emphasized with importance placed on the application of leadership styles and management skills.

Course Description

This course focuses on methods of health history taking, physical examination skills, and documentation. Students integrate assessment skills and clinical judgment/reasoning in identifying actual or potential health problems and needs across the life span. Health promotion strategies are incorporated to provide for the unique needs of the individual, ensuring person-centered care. The course emphasizes the importance of providing compassionate care dealing with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students design plans of care based on evidence-based research and practice.

Course Description

This course focuses on the community as the patient taking into account varying cultures, spiritual values, geographic norms, and economic conditions. The course examines social determinants of health, including social, legal, and political variables impacting individual, community, and population health across the life span. Students use epidemiological data, functional health pattern assessments, and nursing theories to plan and intervene in areas of health promotion and disease prevention across the life span.

Course Description

This course is designed to build upon existing knowledge of the pathophysiological processes of disease as they affect patients across the life span, recognizing the nurse's multidimensional role in health promotion and disease management and prevention, which include biological, environmental, social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions. Integration of nutritional and pharmacological concepts encourages critical thinking and application of nursing interventions. Prerequisite: NRS-420.

Course Description

This is an introductory course on concepts of statistics, emphasizing applications to health care professions. The course is designed to prepare learners to understand concepts of statistics and the appropriateness of statistical methods used in published research papers and a variety of settings. Areas of emphasis include an introduction to the statistical analysis concepts of variable/reliability factors; P values; experimental design; descriptive statistics, including mean, median, and mode; sampling methods; and power analysis.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course promotes the use of research findings as a basis for improving clinical practice. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are analyzed with an emphasis on the critical review of research studies and their application to clinical practice. Students develop evidence-based practice recommendations from the critical analysis of available literature guided by a PICOT question. Prerequisite: HLT-362V.

Course Description

The final course in the program is writing-intensive. It will integrate the academic and practical knowledge students have acquired throughout the program’s curriculum. Students participate in planned clinical experiences that refine professional competencies at the baccalaureate level and enable them to integrate new knowledge and enhanced skills to advance nursing practice. Clinical practice hours are dedicated to learning objectives in leadership and community health. The evidence-based project provides students an opportunity to identify a clinical nursing practice issue and propose a possible solution. Students, under the guidance of faculty and approved preceptors, identify and analyze a nurse practice issue, develop a change project, and propose an evidence-based solution that reflects synthesis and integration of course content and professional practice. The evidence-based project development is guided by the baccalaureate program learning outcomes. Clinical hours: 100. 50 hours in leadership and 50 hours in community health. Prerequisite: NRS-415, NRS-420, NRS-425, HLT-362V, NRS-445, PHI-413V, NRS-450, NRS-455, NRS-460.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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