By Cindi Meche

Making Change with A Master of Public Health

Katrina Nardini had achieved her master’s degree in nursing as a certified nurse midwife, but her experience in the Peace Corps and a husband with a background in program planning, encouraged her to go beyond the clinical based training she had received. Nardini wanted to do more working with and evaluating program and project development, as well as understanding epidemiology.

What really drew Nardini to issues in public health was the maternal and child health aspect. Midwifery is very focused on clinical health care, including sexual reproductive health, obstetric health, taking care of people who are pregnant and those who experience postpartum. But Nardini felt that maternal and child health went further in terms of helping to prevent maternal deaths, and this was of particular interest for her.


In 2018 Nardini graduated with a Master in Public Health (MPH) from the UNM College of Population Health, and says that “a lot of the skills that I learned in some of the classes that I took gave me a different lens and skill set in order to help successfully run projects.”

Katrina Nardini, CNM, CNP, MPH, still does clinical practice, which she loves to be a part of, but broadened her horizons and now also works with the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDoH). She helps to run some of the projects and programs based in maternal and child health. She is also operational staff on the New Mexico Maternal Mortality Review Committee, helping to lead this project for the state working to prevent maternal mortality. Nardini also helps to lead the Certified Nurse-Midwife and Licensed Midwife Advisory Boards, working on rules and regulations around midwifery and licensing.


Katrina Nardini
This Master’s in Public Health has been transformative and has really helped me in terms of advancing my career.
Katrina Nardini, CNM, CNP, MPH,

“This Master’s in Public Health has been transformative and has really helped me in terms of advancing my career.” Katrina Nardini says there is such a wealth of opportunities that you can do with a Master in Public Health degree. Being around students and professors with different expertise, fields and perspectives than her nursing background helped Nardini form a different way of looking at issues and techniques to finding solutions to problems. It also helped to broaden her ability to collaborate better with other people. She still keeps in touch with classmates and continues to network with them, as well as encounters many of them while doing her own work, finding them all doing many different disciplines.

Nardini recommends to students considering a Master in Public Health degree to think about what their interests are, where they would like to see their future go and evaluate how an MPH can help achieve that growth. Nardini took time to work with an advisor to complete the program at a slower pace as a full-time working student, and to tailor her MPH experience to focus on maternal and child health issues. She suggests taking the time to build that college experience around what will be useful for each student’s career goals.

“The thing that I am most proud of is making a job for myself that fits in with my lifestyle and also that is varied in many ways.” Nardini still performs clinical duties, but is also able to teach as a principle lecturer, conduct research, works to create and review policies, regulations and licensing, and aids in running a committee. Most recently, she signed a contract to work with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to work on a national level with maternal mortality, furthering her reach to make change for maternal health and well-being.

Categories: College of Population Health, Community Engagement