Individuals considering pursuing a Master’s in Nursing through distance learning often wonder if they’ll need to complete clinical hours. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a degree program available to a few different candidates. Both registered nurses and those interested in becoming a registered nurse may consider an MSN degree. Clinical requirements typically vary by program and school.

Clinical Hours for an Online Masters in Nursing – Are They Required?

The most important component of nursing programs is often the clinical component. This is because nursing students can demonstrate and hone their competency in nursing skills. Clinical internships and rotations are a very big part of the BSN program and are often a requirement in the master’s degree program as well. Every school varies in its requirements, as does every nursing program.

Many of the students pursuing a Master’s in Nursing are already RNs who are already working as RNs. They typically choose an online MSN because they can’t afford to quit their job and attend college on campus full time. In many cases, the work they do as an RN can satisfy the requirement for the clinical hours for an online Master’s in Nursing.

Advantages of Earning a Master’s in Nursing

There are several advantages to earning an MSN. One advantage of the MSN program is that it helps RNs develop policymaking, leadership and research skills. However, an even larger advantage is that it offers nursing students the opportunities to choose from several different careers, including advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Nurse Journal states that APRNs, such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, all hold an MSN degree, and these professionals are very much in demand.

Nurse practitioners often choose specializations in specific areas of which they may be interested, such as emergency medicine, adult gerontology or pediatrics. The MSN program provides RNs with the qualifications and skills needed to pursue managerial and supervisory positions and to earn higher wages.

Related Resource: Top 50 Most Affordable Part-Time MSN Programs Online

Career Outlook for MSN Graduates

The career outlook for graduates of the MSN program is very good according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered nurses are projected to have job growth of 15 percent during the decade of 2016 and 2026 while APRNs should see a growth of 31 percent during that same period. As the need for better healthcare continues to be so pressing in our country, educated, experienced and qualified RNs will continue to be a valuable commodity in the medical profession.

Earning a master’s degree in nursing is an ideal way for a person to prepare for a career in a field that will always be high in demand. Online programs often make this possible. Whether the degree is earned on campus or through an online program generally depends on the individual’s situation. The good news about this program is that those who have difficulty completing clinical hours for an online master’s in nursing can choose the school that can best accommodate them.