Nurses are often the unsung heroes of healthcare. They work long hours, perform tasks most people would cringe at, and often do it all with an abundance of care and compassion. Doctors may be the ones who make the decisions but it’s the nurses who follow through with those directions and have more direct contact with patients.
A registered nurse is a wonderful career to have, but some nurses find the job limiting and may look to advance their career by pursuing a master’s degree in nursing, or MSN. Taking the time to pursue that extra degree might not work for everyone, but for the nurses who do they often find that their job prospects have just gotten a whole lot better.
If you’re an RN who is thinking of obtaining that advanced degree, these are five reasons why you really should take the plunge, go back to school, and investigate accredited online RN to MSN programs.
1. Higher Salaries
Working in the nursing field isn’t always about money to some, but for those with an MSN their pay scale will dramatically increase. In some cases, those with a master’s degree in nursing can see salaries of $80,000 or more annually. Of course, this depends greatly on the field you choose once you have your degree but it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll make much more that you did with your BSN degree.
2. The Ability to Teach at a University
Nursing instructors are in short supply at universities across the country and with your MSN you could help fill those gaps. It’s vital that those who enter healthcare studies at the undergraduate level receive the best training possible and many studies show that a shortage of qualified nurses is having a negative impact on healthcare in the United States.
Additionally, many people enter the field of nursing because they truly want to provide compassionate care to their fellow human beings. Teaching these students is a wonderful way to continue to inspire others to follow their passion.
3. More Autonomy Regarding Patient Care
Doctors make decisions regarding patient care but as a nurse with an MSN you’ll be able to become more involved in care directive and decision making. You’ll be more involved in the diagnostic process and treatment plan. If you’ve taken the exam and you’re board-certified as a nurse practitioner you also have the ability to autonomously diagnose patients, oversee std testing, write prescriptions and advise patients on their aftercare.
Having the ability to play a more significant role in patient care is rewarding and puts you in an important position within an overall healthcare team.
4. Moving Into Management Positions
All MSN programs have various areas of focus and one of those is management. For those nurses who feel their skills are better suited to the management aspect of healthcare, this can be just the right position for you. In a management role, you’ll have control over many aspects of your health care department and can develop care plans, leadership, financial decisions, and marketing.
While this role doesn’t always involve direct interaction with patients it is a vital one. Just like any other business without a good management team things will not run as smoothly as they should, and this is especially important in health care.
5. Focus Your Specialization
As stated earlier, an MSN degree allows you the opportunity to focus on a specialization you’re passionate about. Again, this could be management, nurse midwifery, or nurse anesthetist, among many others. Most nurses are much happier and more focused on their jobs when they’re in a position that they feel is truly important to them and allows them to care for patients to the best of their ability.
Additionally, many of the specializations offered are in high demand and therefore allow for greater salaries.
As a job that’s in very high demand nursing is a great career choice for anyone. Taking that degree further to an MSN is an even better choice for long-term job prospects. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages and the time spent will be a benefit in the end. Plus, you’ll get to continue to do what you love with more freedom, more expertise, and more confidence than you had in your previous role.