5 Reasons to Get a MSN

5 Reasons to Get a MSN

Jennifer Fink | NursingLink

Who needs advanced education? Maybe you!

While you can have a perfectly wonderful nursing career with a RN or BSN degree, MSN-prepared nurses have additional opportunities and earning power. Plus, healthcare is quickly evolving, and many nurse experts and healthcare organizations are calling upon nurses to increase their education to be on par with other healthcare providers. Physicians complete eight years or more of higher education. Physical therapists typically have a master’s or doctoral degree. (In 2009, there were 212 accredited physical therapy programs in the US. Twelve award master’s degrees while 200 award doctoral degrees.) Advanced degrees prepare healthcare professionals to work in a world that is increasingly complex.

Need more proof? Check out these five reasons to get a MSN.

1: Increased Specialization

Entry-level and undergraduate degrees prepare nurses for general nursing practice. Graduate degrees allow nurses to dig deeply into their areas of interest. According to California State University, “The primary purpose of the Master of Science in Nursing is to develop skilled professionals able to assume positions of leadership, which contribute to the health, education, and social structure of the community, state, and nation.” Note the word leadership. MSN-prepared nurses don’t just implement orders and perform basic nursing care; they set out in front and provide healthcare leadership to a group of patients or healthcare professionals.

A master’s degree is required for advanced practice nursing. If you want to be a nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist, you’ll need a MSN. MSN degrees also prepare nurses for careers in healthcare administration, nursing informatics and nursing education.

Years ago, advanced degrees were only for nurse executives. Today, though, thousands of nurses in clinical practice – from the clinical nurse specialist on the oncology floor to the geriatric nurse practitioner in the local nursing home – have master’s degrees. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), “Today’s master’s programs have increased the amount of clinical practice that students engage in so that graduates enter the job market ready for certification."

Next: Increased Demand >>

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