Masters Degree in Nursing
The field of nursing has evolved into one of the most exciting and rewarding careers in the health care profession. Men are entering the field in record numbers. The number of nurses with advanced degrees increases significantly every year. Commonly, RN’s are pursuing bachelor degrees, and many are obtaining masters degrees in nursing
- A master’s degree in nursing is often a prerequisite for employment as a nurse educator or nurse administrator. Specialty nursing areas such as nurse anesthetist or nurse midwife often require a master’s degree in nursing. Nurses who wish to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner must possess a master’s degree.
- Most masters in nursing degrees take from 18 to 24 months to complete. Some colleges offer a “bridge program”, which is designed for registered nurses who have already earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). These programs eliminate the overlap of classes, and are designed to provide the student with credit for courses earned in the bachelor’s program.
- Designed for bachelor’s degree holders in non-nursing sciences, Direct Entry MSN programs provide an abbreviated pace for nursing education. Credit is given for completed undergraduate work in other areas. These students can typically earn a Master’s Degree in Nursing in about three years. For the direct entry program, the first year of study usually consists of entry-level nursing courses, while the last two years are dedicated to study that combines the advanced training in a master’s specialty area with work to prepare the student for registered nurse licensure.
- Some nurses are opting to pursue a joint nursing degree program. An applicant with a master’s degree in both nursing (MSN) and business administration (MBA) would be especially attractive to employers looking to hire someone in an administrative position in a hospital or health care related industry.
- Once considered rare, colleges and universities offering post-graduate degrees in nursing are becoming more popular. Most major state universities and several private institutions now include master nursing degree programs as part of their curriculum. A number of hospitals have programs in place to assist nurses who desire to pursue advanced degrees. At least some portion of the coursework can often be completed online, but students should expect clinical work to be a part of the course load.
- In a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a registered nurse holding a Bachelor of Science degree earns around $65,000 annually. Nurses who obtain a master’s degree and work in a specialty area may earn in excess of $100,000 annually. Nurse anesthetists average over $135,000 per year. Certified nurse midwives can expect to earn salaries in excess of $125,000 annually. As in other fields, salary varies by locale. Nurses in the northeastern area of the United States, and nurses in California can expect to garner a higher salary that in some other areas of the county.