After a graduate completes their bachelor’s nursing degree, they have the option of continuing their studies by earning a master’s degree. Having a master’s degree provides the nursing graduate with more specialized training and skills. This means they can work in different areas of the nursing field. Moving from a BSN to an MSN presents nurses with several opportunities. Let’s explore the benefits of advancing your nursing career by getting an MSN degree.
Numerous Career Options
Moving from a BSN to MSN program is the bedrock of the several nursing career paths available. With an MSN, individuals get an edge in the various successive certifications and degree programs that allow them to become registered nurses (RN) or nurse practitioners (NP). In the competitive job market, having an MSN could be a huge differentiator in different roles. Some of these roles are:
- Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN): They take on many roles, such as Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) who offer care within specified care types (like mental health or rehabilitation) or populations. An MSN degree combined with post-master certificate programs could prepare an individual for the national certification examination and eventually the APRN license.
- Research nurses: They work in laboratories or other research environments analyzing and managing patient data to improve patient care.
- Public health nurses: They help manage clinics, disease prevention, and control with policy experts and community leaders.
- Nursing consultants: They provide legal and medical analysis for companies such as pharmaceutical companies, insurance firms, and hospitals.
- Nurse administrators: They deliver and facilitate bedside care and also manage teams of nurses who provide high-quality care.
Expertise and Specialization
With a master’s in nursing, individuals can focus on a particular area. Master’s course works are usually made to offer advanced knowledge in specialized fields like obstetrics, pediatric care, community health, and other programs found in the nurse journal.
Specialization offers individuals the opportunity to build expertise, and this is very vital due to the current changes that abound in the healthcare system where nurses are increasingly put in positions of responsibility to relieve doctor’s workload. In certain situations, advanced practice nurses are gradually replacing doctors in environments such as community care facilities, family nurses, and ambulatory care centers.
Offers Individuals Leadership Training
Some students love leadership roles with a focus on safety stewardship and quality. For such students, an MSN provides them with the opportunity to gain registered nurse (RN) experience and transition into a leadership role faster than a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
While completing the MSN coursework, students will learn valuable leadership skills that will help them excel in their careers. Certain MSN programs even set up the student for success in getting the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certificate (a credential obtained after a national certification exam).
The major responsibilities of a clinical nurse leader include quality improvement, implementation of evidence-based best practices, risk assessment, team leadership and interprofessional communication, care transition, outcome measurement, and care coordination.
Students assessing an MSN program can look for programs preparing them for AACN’s clinical nurse leader certification exam. Passing this exam is a confirmation of the nurse’s skills and knowledge in clinical competence, leadership, evidence-based practice, and risk reduction while also improving their job candidate desirability.
Offers the Opportunity to Teach Nursing Courses
For individuals truly committed to nursing, there might be no greater satisfaction than teaching the coming generation of nurses. Individuals with this dream would require a master’s degree, as it is the least requirement for getting a teaching position in an accredited nursing program.
Nursing school teachers hold unique positions where they can influence the healthcare future. They teach best practices programs, health policy, and nursing strategies that could also influence the future of health care.
It Provides a Fast Road to Future Graduate Programs
After earning an MSN, several opportunities are available. With a vast array of sera specializations available, you can select a career path that you find rewarding and inspiring. A master’s in nursing degree positions you to continue your education as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).
There are also other postgraduate programs for individuals who aim for the highest level of credentials possible in nursing practice. This position is the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This degree places focus on delivery and clinical care and quality improvement via translational research.
With a DNP, you can fill advanced leadership roles in national or state health policy, organizational leadership, and nurse management. Additionally, PhDs in nursing are chosen by individuals who aim to perform research to generate new knowledge while also continuing clinical work if they want.
Enhance Prospects for Securing Managerial Roles
Studying an MSN allows the student to learn managerial and administrative healthcare strategies. With this, graduates of an MSN program can qualify for supervisory roles if they have the right work experience. In some workplaces, an advanced degree provides the opportunity of merit increases or bonuses even when there isn’t a position change or added responsibilities. A master’s degree in nursing also prepares dedicated nurses for moving up ladders like the department lead nurse, operation chief in a facility, and director of nursing.
Increasing Employment Opportunities Across Nursing Positions
According to the American College of Schools of Nursing, there is an expected shortage of registered nurses (RN) that is likely to increase in the coming years. As a larger number of current registered nurses retire, there will be an increasing number of open nursing positions. The traditional four-year nursing program might not be able to keep up with the required demands.
Direct entry nursing programs could help curtail this lack. However, as average life expectancy continues to increase, there will be increased open positions to care for the aging population. A master’s in nursing is the first step to having a secure career.
As a nursing practitioner, getting your master of science in nursing improves your career prospects. Although completing the MSN program takes resources, commitment, and decision, the benefits such as increased employment opportunities, a fulfilling career, and paychecks all outweigh the effort.