There are many reasons to Reasons to Pursue a Master’s in Nursing. A Master’s in Nursing unlocks many potential career options. From teaching to independent practice to research, nurses with graduate degrees can move beyond the bedside or maximize their patient care skills. These programs are created with the hectic schedule of a full-time nurse in mind, so they offer flexible assignment dates, online courses and help finding internships with hours that work best for students, not schools.
1. Increased Pay
Will a master’s degree in nursing increase a nurse’s pay? Almost certainly. An advanced nursing degree is required for the highest-paying specialties in nursing, including work as a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). For registered nurses who want to continue in their current career path, earning an MSN often comes with a pay bump because hospitals want well-educated staff.
2. Increased Respect
Many healthcare experts, including the top-tier public health journal, Health Affairs, predict a shift towards team-based management. As many healthcare professions push for master’s and even doctoral degrees as entry points, registered nurses with only a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) risk being left behind. To be on equal footing with clinical pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians and mental health providers, all of whom have advanced degrees, nurses must increase their education levels. An MSN is the best way to show fellow providers that the nurses on the team value cutting-edge research and scientific knowledge as much as any other healthcare profession.
3. Advanced Clinical Practice
The only way for nurses to practice independently is to become a nurse practitioner with an advanced clinical practice degree. These graduate programs offer a variety of career options, including independent practice as a general practitioner, gerontologist or women’s health specialist. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) combine the holistic nursing approach with high-level training in diagnosis and pharmacology, creating a gentle, all-encompassing care model that many patients prefer over allopathic medicine.
4. Flexible, Online Class Schedules
RN-to-MSN programs are designed for busy, working nurses. That’s why online graduate nursing degrees offer flexible schedules with quizzes and tests that can be completed whenever time allows. Plus, these programs don’t use cohort models, which force students to take specific classes on a specific schedule. Instead, online-only nursing programs let students design their schedules, so nurses can take just one or two classes per semester.
Related Resource: Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Online
5. Increased Opportunities to Mentor
With the increased need for nurses to care for America’s aging population comes an increased need for nurse educators. Earning an MSN allows experienced nurses to turn their passion for mentoring into a full-time career and offers an excellent way to keep a love of nursing alive even when the physical demands of the job become overwhelming. Academia offers full-time and part-time schedules, so nurses can make a career out of teaching or work one night as a week. Many online nursing programs allow nurse educators to work from home anywhere in the world. Retired nurses can teach classes from the balcony of a cruise ship or a Parisian café.
Don’t settle for a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Whether the nurse wants to increase their patient care skills or transition to a new nursing profession, a Master’s in Nursing can help them meet their goals.
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