Popular Concentrations for the MSN

• Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

• Gerontology

• Midwifery

• Nurse Anesthetist

• Family Nurse Practitioner

There is a huge demand for registered nurses (RNs) particularly those who focus their studies on specific MSN concentrations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts RNs should experience a 15 percent increase in job growth from 2016 to 2026. RNs who have completed MSN concentrations increase their career potentials because they’re in a position to educate and care for patients with chronic illnesses. They also have the knowledge to teach nursing students starting their careers. Here are five popular concentrations for students pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing.

1. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Every eight seconds a born is born in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these babies are preterm or in need of specialized care in the neonatal intensive care units. Neonatal nurse practitioners are the medical professionals who provide around-the-clock care to these infants. Neonatal nurse practitioners perform duties like feeding the babies, administering oxygen, performing necessary medical procedures and providing medication. They may work independently or as part of a team in evaluating, diagnosing, and managing the healthcare needs of the infant.

2. Gerontology

One of the main reasons why the demand for RNs is so great is due to the aging population needing good healthcare to improve their quality of life. This is why RNs choosing a gerontology concentration are such a necessary commodity in the nursing field. A concentration in gerontology prepares the RN to provide adult primary care. They learn how aging affects the body as well as how the older population is more susceptible to diseases like dementia, diabetes, and cancer, among others. They also gain knowledge about appropriate treatment and medication for elderly patients.

3. Midwifery

Although we often think of days gone by when we think of midwives, midwifery is still a very active and popular concentration for students pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing. Midwives work alongside OB/GYN doctors and assist them throughout not just the pregnancy but also through the postpartum stage. Midwives assist in caring for both the mother and child. While midwives used to be mostly women, that is no longer the case because many men are also choosing this specialty. Their duties include performing screenings, assisting with appointments, performing lab tests and measuring vitals.

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4. Nurse Anesthetist

As long as there are surgeries, there will be a need for qualified nurse anesthetists. Nurse anesthetists may find work in hospitals, offices of specialists, emergency rooms or just about anywhere there are surgeries performed. The nurse anesthetist duties include helping prepare patients for surgery, assisting the physician with the operation, administering anesthesia and providing the patient and family members with discharge and after-care information.

5. Family Nurse Practitioner

RNs who prefer to work with a variety of patients often choose a concentration in family nurse practitioner. This advanced degree allows the RN the chance to interact with all types of patients and also earn a good wage. The family nurse practitioner has many duties, including collecting and documenting patients’ medical history, assessing symptoms, performing tests and administering the required treatment. Their training also qualified them for positions as clinic or hospital administers.

Regardless of which MSN concentrations a nursing student chooses, the candidate is enhancing his or her career for years to come.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics