Advantages of Having an MSN
- Opportunities to Specialize and Establish Expertise
- More Jobs and Better Pay
- Opportunity to Teach Nursing Courses
- Demonstrate Autonomy and Work Independently
- Increased Chances of Taking Managerial Positions
Nurses who plan to take their careers to the next level should consider completing a master of science in nursing. Pursuing an MSN takes commitment. The course work may take at least two years to complete and longer should one decide to juggle full-time work and an academic schedule. However, much can be gained, career-wise, by earning an advanced degree in nursing as it is a surefire way to gain specialized skills for roles with greater responsibility in the healthcare field according to Nurse.org.
1. Opportunities to Specialize and Establish Expertise
A master’s in nursing brings career choices to a sharp focus. The course work is designed to provide advanced knowledge in fields of specialization such as community health, pediatric care, obstetrics and other programs according to Nurse Journal. Specialization helps build expertise, which is crucial in the face of changes in the health care system where nurses are increasingly thrust into positions of responsibility to relieve the workload off of doctors. Advanced practice nurses are replacing doctors in certain settings such as in ambulatory care centers and community care facilities.
2. More Jobs and Better Pay
As with any career, training and advanced credentials will broaden employment opportunities. Some of the advanced practice areas for MSN graduates include nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse anesthetist, nursing informatics and certified nurse midwife. These jobs require require advanced skill levels and credentialing but are also at the top of the pay scale for nurses. Additionally, employers may also pay all or part of the tuition to attend nursing school because having highly qualified nurses on the team is to their advantage.
3. Opportunity to Teach Nursing Courses
For those who are truly committed to nursing, nothing brings greater satisfaction than teaching the next generation of nurses. A master’s in nursing is typically the minimum requirement for a teaching position in accredited nursing programs. Teachers in nursing schools are in a unique position to influence the future of health care. They teach advanced nursing strategies, health policy and best practice programs that may end up influencing the future of health care.
4. Demonstrate Autonomy and Work Independently
Systems and processes in health care are evolving as a result of legislative initiatives as well as changes in social policy and population shifts. Nurses with master’s degrees are in a position to take advantage of these policy shifts where some of the physician’s functions are taken over by nurses working autonomously from doctors. Many non-acute clinics and specialty medical centers are run entirely by advanced practice nurses.
5. Increase Chances of Taking Managerial Positions
A master’s in nursing includes exposure to administrative and managerial strategies in the health care setting, which means that the MSN graduate will qualify for jobs in supervisory positions given the right work experience. In some workplaces, an advanced degree will bring bonuses or merit increases even without a change in positions or additional responsibilities. An advanced degree in nursing prepares the dedicated nurse to move up to positions such as lead nurse for the department, director of nursing and even operations chief of the facility.
Pursuing a master of science in nursing will enhance the career prospects of everyone who is committed to nursing as a lifetime commitment. Completing the program takes dedication and a commitment of resources, but the payback is well worth the effort in terms of more employment opportunities, better pay, and a more fulfilling career.