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RN to Phd in Epi


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Hi everyone,


So glad I found this forum! I am seeking advice on applying to Masters and eventually PhD programs in Epidemiology.


A bit about myself, my first bachelors degree in humanities was from a top public university. Then I graduated from Johns Hopkins with a nursing degree. Since then, I've been a pediatric nurse at a large teaching hospital for about a year. By the end of my nursing school education, I had attended lectures at Bloomberg SPH and had worked as a research assistant at Wilmer Eye Institute which made me realize that I should have studied public health...not nursing -_-. I was unable to land a public health nurse job because these jobs typically require 2+ years of acute care experience. Therefore, I am currently working at the bedside which thankfully has been much better than I expected and has exposed me to a unique set of defects and diseases of the pediatric population vs adult chronic diseases. 


Anyway, I was wondering how I can be a competitive applicant for a MS program or maybe even one of the direct-PhD programs in Epidemiology? I prefer NOT to enroll in a MPH program because my goals are strictly academic and research driven vs a terminal professional degree. To be totally honest, I don't want to do the public health internships or take extra classes (haha). My research interests include prevention and improving quality of life for congenital anomaly population (spina bifida, CP, CF, maybe even cardiac defects). I know that's pretty broad, but I'm sure it will narrow down once I start school.


I have no publications. I have taken anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, basic pharmacology, biostats...could probably brush up on microbiology and chemistry though. My humanities GPA is 3.8 but my nursing GPA is only 3.3. I have my Public Health Nurse certification and have volunteered in a public health setting, but not as a full time job. No publications but a poster and quality improvement projects for my unit. I haven't taken my GREs yet. 


My Questions: How do you think I can improve my chances for a MS or direct-PhD program in Epidemiology? Any additional classes I should take? Will not having been published harm my chances? Also I will be 28/29 by the time I start school, which means I will be 35-37 by the time I am done with my PhD. Is that considered too late? 


Sorry this is lengthy! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Edited by rntophd
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