Having credentials in addition to your RN license can prove to be beneficial for those in certain specialties or if you’re working as a travel nurse. One credential to consider is a Master of Science in Nursing or MSN. More positions are starting to require it or another advanced degree. This article talks about how and why you should get an MSN and the benefits it has for different types of nurses along with things to consider.
The Paths to a Master of Science in Nursing
There are several different ways to obtain a master’s in nursing and getting a bachelor’s degree isn’t always required. The most traditional way to go is to get a bachelors in nursing or BSN. For those who already have their RN license, they can apply to an RN to MSN program and skip the BSN. This path is more intensive because it covers a lot of material, some of which are taught at the undergraduate level. Skipping the BSN cuts down on learning material twice.
Who Benefits from a Master of Science in Nursing
Not every nurse may want to get an MSN. But it does bring new opportunities especially for certain types of nurses. This includes:
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
- Clinical Nurse Specialists
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
Benefits of Getting a Master of Science in Nursing
There are multiple benefits to getting an MSN. The primary benefit is learning about a specific area of nursing. This is good for nurses who want to specialize in a field of nursing and work in it. MSN programs have different courses designed to help you develop expertise.
Nurses who have an MSN make approximately $112,000 on average per year. If you choose travel nursing after receiving your MSN, payment may be even higher than average depending on the specialty and the assignment.
Things to Consider
MSNs are expensive, like most graduate degrees, and they take a lot of time to complete between coursework and clinical hours. However, some positions do require advanced degrees or certifications like an MSN. So time and cost should be considered along with whether it is practical for your career. Most importantly, an MSN is not a requirement to work as a nurse. You can always go back to get the degree if required.
If you’re looking for your next specialized nursing role or just simply curious about nursing positions available, check out NexNurse. NexNurse connects nurses and employers together nationwide. Create your own Actriv Healthcare profile today.
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