3 Reasons to Pursue a MSN Degree Program

There are many reasons why people chose to pursue a career in nursing. Entering a challenging and fulfilling line of work while making a positive difference in the lives of others as well as in the field of healthcare, are just some of the reasons people are drawn to this profession.

With a nationwide skills shortage, there has never been a better time than at present to enter this rewarding and highly regarded field of practice which estimates an increase in demand of 40% for nurse practitioners (NPs) over the next decade. This is far greater than the average for any other occupation.

While this signals the perfect time for newly qualified nurses to enter the field it also provides greater opportunities for those already within the nursing profession to progress their careers. In this article, we will explore some of the benefits for registered nurses (RNs) to develop their roles into those of nurse practitioners (NPs) by studying for a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree.

What is an MSN Program?

An MSN degree program allows BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduates or RNs to advance their careers in nursing. You can learn more about the difference between BSN and MSN here. The MSN degree prepares students to take on greater responsibility and the ability to specialize in various areas and settings in a more autonomous way. Most MSN programs typically take between one to three years to complete.

Benefits of an MSN Degree

Below are some of the benefits of studying for an MSN degree.

Financial Benefits

Students have the option to study full-time or part-time giving them the choice to work alongside their studies. The financial aspects of being a student can be easier when earning an income at the same time.

In addition, many universities, medical and government institutions, and health organizations provide funding opportunities such as grants and scholarships to support nurses in advancing their careers in healthcare. Some employers will also contribute to the costs of tuition if they think it will be beneficial to the organization as a whole.

Greater Opportunities to Specialize

With an MSN degree, graduates will have the opportunity to specialize in a wide variety of areas allowing them to pursue their careers in the field they are most interested in and wish to develop their knowledge and skills in. Some of the job opportunities an MSN degree offers nurses include the following:

  • Research nurse
  • Family nurse practitioner (FNP)
  • Nurse educator
  • Neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist
  • Nursing informatics specialist

An MSN degree will also open the doors to administrative, managerial and executive roles which can include work within research, nursing advocacy, academia, public policy, health systems management as well as healthcare lobbying.

Greater Autonomy

As an NP, nurses have greater autonomy in their work enabling them to take on greater responsibilities and make decisions without the need for supervision. This can include the development of treatment plans, diagnostic reasoning and prescribing medications with greater independence than before. In addition to this, studies reveal that more autonomy in a work setting can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction for NPs.

As this article shows, there are many reasons to pursue an MSN degree program, helping you to advance your career in nursing in varied and fulfilling ways.

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