Advanced Public Health Nursing (APHN)


The Advanced Public Health Nursing (APHN) specialty provides a foundation for planning and evaluating community/public health programs; learning about community/public health concepts, health promotion, population health, population-level interventions, grant writing, health care systems, leadership, and health policy; addressing health disparities of vulnerable and diverse populations; and practicing and consulting in diverse and multicultural settings. This is not a clinical specialty and involves no individual level patient care.

Advanced public health nurses in this specialty understand the complex interactions between health and the social determinants of health to maintain or improve the health of diverse, vulnerable, and underserved populations and communities. Practice settings include public health departments, schools and universities, parishes and faith-based programs, home care, rural health, refugee/immigrant clinics, primary care clinics, jails and prisons, ambulatory outpatient facilities, voluntary organizations, and a variety of community, public and private agencies and organizations.


The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has retired all certifications provided via portfolio review. They are only processing renewals. Effective November 2017, this included the Advanced Public Health Nursing (PHNA-BC) certification by portfolio.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

For Master of Science and Post-Master's Students  
Is RN experience required? No
Other admissions requirements specific to this specialty  
Application deadline June 1
For Master's Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) Students  
Does this specialty admit MEPN students? Yes. MEPN application deadline: Sept. 10, 2021 (see MEPN program page for how to apply) 


View the sample curriculum for this specialty. Please note that courses are subject to change.

Post-Master's Certificate Program

Post-Master's study in this specialty requires three to four quarters of coursework for completion. There is no option for ANCC certification or CNS. Contact the specialty coordinator for consultation on an individualized post-master's curriculum.

To learn more, including how to apply, visit the Post-Master's Certificate Program section of our website. (Please note that post-master's applicants do not need to fulfill a statistics requirement.)


Carol Dawson-Rose, PhD, RN, FAAN
Orlando Harris, PhD, MPH, FNP
Van Park, PhD, MPH
Catherine Waters, PhD, RN, FAAN

Contact Us

Staff Contact: Emily Huang (primary contact for applicants and students interested in this specialty)
[email protected]

Specialty Coordinator: Orlando Harris, PhD, MPH, RN, FNP
[email protected]