New Master’s Program

School of Nursing Adds Public Health

Barbara GarciaKia James (left), USF assistant professor and MPH coordinator, talks with Barbara Garcia (right), San Francisco public health director, during the MPH launch event at USF. Photo by Edward Carpenter.

The School of Nursing has changed its name to the School of Nursing and Health Professions, reflecting  the school’s recent expansion to include a master of public health (MPH) degree.

The MPH program is attracting recent graduates and professionals interested in careers in fields such as health promotion, community organizing, and healthy lifestyle leadership, allowing them to choose an emphasis in community health, global health, or health promotion education.

“Advancing health professions programming at USF has become a university priority,” said Judith Karshmer, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions. “Our goal is to expand health professions options that are mission-centric and built upon the strategic goals of USF 2028.”

The move, bolstered by President Stephen A. Privett, S.J.’s appointment of a 35-member commission to study how the university can best grow its health professions education at the graduate level, takes into account projections for rapid growth in the health care industry in coming years.

The committee, made up of Bay Area leaders in health care and a wide array of other industries, was charged with expanding the scope and depth of USF’s health professions education at the graduate level to best serve students and meet community needs. Much of the focus was on emerging fields, high demand areas for local, national and global health priorities, and areas that link education and health-related services in innovative and sustainable patterns of outreach, Karshmer said.

Among the new programs recommended by the commission, which concluded its work in May, were nutrition; lifestyle medicine and integrated health care; and health care management and clinical analytics.

The school also expanded its student base when it began to offer its popular RN-to-MSN program online in January, allowing registered nurses from across the country to earn master’s degrees in their field.

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