There is always a fairly high demand for nurses, and the basic educational requirements for licensing, are typically sufficient to get a job. However, there are so many areas that a nurse can work in, and getting a more advanced degree increases available career paths. This advanced degree usually provides a nice bump in salary, and for some nurses, may be reason enough to go back to school. There are many advantages to getting your MSN, but it is not necessarily the right path for everyone. Here are some reasons that it may benefit you.Take your time to evaluate if these reasons fit in with your career goals.
The MSN allows you to specialize in a particular field, and you will have the opportunity to increase your knowledge and enhance your skills. If you are drawn towards a certain patient population, you could become a clinical nurse specialist providing specialized care in a specific area, such as cardiology, diabetes or pediatrics. Nurse practitioners take on a role similar to that of physicians. They diagnose illnesses and conduct physical exams—like a CNS, NPs can focus on a particular practice area. If you feel passionate about obstetrics and gynecology, you could become a certified nurse midwife, or you have the option to become a nurse anesthetic.
Greater Employment Opportunities
Getting an advanced nursing degree opens the doors to many other health care roles.If you like the idea of being more involved in the everyday running of the facility or overseeing other nurses, a nurse administrator MSN can be a good fit. You can take on roles that allow you to shape public policy. Teaching is also another option—while PHDs are the preferred credentials, a shortage of faculty in nursing schools means you have a better chance of landing a job. The world of healthcare is rapidly changing and there will be an increased demand for administrative and advanced practice nursing jobs—getting an MSN ensures you are qualified to help fill this void.
Getting an advanced degree may not always mean a bump in pay, but a nursing master’s degree often translates to more money. Many are drawn to nursing because it can be a very fulfilling career that provides a nurse with a sense of purpose. Nurses pursuing an advanced degree may not even necessarily be motivated by more money, but rather feeling passionately about health care, whether specializing with a particular patient population, teaching or taking on an administrative role. But, more money certainly does not hurt. Of the top ten highest paying jobs in the nursing field, seven require an MSN; they include clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, researcher, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and gerontological nurse practitioner.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things education, from how to pick a major to writing your MBA application essay.