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Release: May 17, 2002

UI to offer new degree program in nursing and public health

The University of Iowa College of Nursing and the UI College of Public Health have collaborated to offer a new graduate degree program. The joint program will require students to complete 60 semester hours to earn the master of science in nursing/master of public health (M.S.N./M.P.H.) degree.

The program, offered through resources already available at the two colleges, is a natural collaboration for students interested in preparing for professional activities in the fields of nursing and public health. Areas of study will focus on informatics, nursing administration, community nursing and occupational health.

Several forces, including the restructuring of health services through managed care organizations, changing demographics with an aging population and emerging diseases, have influenced the practice of public health and increased the need for skilled public health professionals.

"Offering this dual degree will allow students to gain skills and knowledge from two accredited colleges. The insights students will take from their interdisciplinary education will prepare them uniquely for leadership positions in public health agencies," said Joanne Dochterman, Ph.D., distinguished professor of nursing and chair of the organizations, systems and community area of study at the UI College of Nursing.

The M.S.N./M.P.H. dual degree program responds to identified needs in the health care and public health arenas.

"This dual degree is offered at many universities that have both nursing and public health degree programs and it is very attractive to students who want to work in settings where both professions are integrated," said Jack Barnette, Ph.D., associate dean for education and student affairs and director of the M.P.H. program in the UI College of Public Health.

The first cohort of students will be admitted for the Fall 2002 semester. Each student will complete 30 semester hours of core coursework, participate in a practicum and master's project, complete work in one of four M.S.N. focus areas, and take elective courses. Full-time students will finish the program in six semesters.