Nursing is a well-respected profession full of dedicated individuals who are committed to helping their patients however they can. If you are an empathetic person who is interested in the medical field, you may be able to build a wonderful career for yourself as a nurse. The field is incredibly wide, which offers you a number of opportunities, whether you’re looking to become a registered nurse or move on to advanced practice opportunities. However, some of these opportunities may require a bit more schooling and education than others. Getting your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a way you can open the door for more of these career opportunities.
There are plenty of reasons why someone may pursue getting a master’s degree. Maybe you enjoy learning and are looking for opportunities to expand your existing knowledge. Maybe you have career aspirations that require an advanced degree to pursue. Or maybe you just desire more money and opportunity as a professional nurse. Any and all of these are great reasons to go back to school for an MSN program. You may even be able to get your BSN and MSN together with the help of a bridge program. If you’re trying to decide if an MSN degree is right for you, here are a few reasons why you should consider it.
Understand the medical field, health care, and health coverage on a deeper level.
Whether you already work in medicine or not, you’re probably aware of how complex the field is. From new technologies and discoveries to health plans, there’s a lot to keep up with. Going back to school to get your master’s degree can help you understand the medical field and health care on a deeper level. If your patients have questions about their health insurance and the patient care they can receive, you’ll be able to answer those. Between private insurance, medicare, and Medicaid, there’s a lot to keep track of. A graduate degree just opens your eyes to the different ways things are done, so you can relate to insurance companies and patients in better ways.
An MSN opens the door to further your career.
One of the main reasons people pursue a graduate degree is to help expand their career opportunities. This is a huge reason to get your MSN as well. A master’s degree in nursing is how you become a researcher, nurse administrator, professor, or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Nurse practitioners are the biggest example of APRNs, and they have many of the same responsibilities and powers as a doctor. You may even see a nurse practitioner as your primary care provider. Getting your MSN also allows you to explore specializations and different areas you may not be able to work in as an RN. You can do the research on a new personal ultrasound and actually see the technology in action. Having these items that are future-focused and getting to work intimately with them and the patients will be a rewarding path for your career.
You can get a combined degree and save money.
Maybe you really want to get your MSN, but you’re concerned about the extra years of school and the expense of getting that second degree. Well, if you plan ahead and know you want to eventually go on to get your MSN, you can invest in BSN to MSN programs. These allow you to get your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at the same time. Doing an MSN-FNP program is also another option, which allows you to become a nurse practitioner. You’ll still take classes and get clinical hours, but since you’re taking on the course loads at the same time, you’ll graduate sooner. Get a great education with accreditation and specializations without spending a fortune. This will also allow you to get into the field sooner with a plethora of knowledge under your belt.
Earn more money.
Speaking of money, sometimes that is a great motivator. As with most professions, holding a graduate degree means you have more leverage to ask for a higher salary. According to experts, individuals with an MSN degree make about $20,000/year more compared to their counterparts with only a bachelor’s degree. You also have a higher earning potential over time. Specialties like becoming a nurse anesthetist are also some of the most lucrative jobs in healthcare. If you’re looking to make some extra dough, that MSN degree could help you get there.
You’re interested in teaching the future generation of nurses.
If you have a passion for mentorship and teaching, you may be interested in getting your MSN, so you can help first-time nursing students get their education. You can’t teach at the collegiate level without holding a master’s degree. This can give you the accreditation to help new nurses join the field of public health. Many individuals who go into nursing education will also continue practicing in a clinical setting as well.