Since 2020, the dedication and bravery of professional nurses and medical personnel has been deservedly splashed across front pages from coast to coast. Even with more than 3,000,000 Registered Nurses (RNs) working in 2021, the ongoing limited staffing issues were further aggravated by an increasingly strained healthcare industry during the pandemic.
While a Registered Nurse can begin their career without first earning a bachelor’s degree, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the healthcare industry have been advocating (for more than a decade) for RNs to obtain a baccalaureate degree – with many employers now requiring newly hired RNs to obtain their nursing license with a predetermined time.
However, specialty and leadership nursing positions typically require a more advanced degree, like a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), or even a doctoral nursing degree. The modern education marketplace offers many quality MSN online or on-campus programs to meet the needs of nursing students.
If you already have an RN license, there are online RN to MSN degree tracks as well. Given the exponential growth of specialty healthcare services, federal statisticians anticipate the need for more than 275,000 Registered Nurses (RNs) by 2030 – a nine percent increase over current levels.
Fortunately, the digital education landscape now offers a variety of MSN online programs that are the perfect springboard to your next nursing career level.
An MSN Degree Creates Pathways to Career Opportunities
Although not required to start a nursing career, a Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) is recognized to be the minimum academic degree for a variety of advanced nursing careers – from specialists to managerial and leadership positions across the many sectors of the health care field.
When deciding on the most suitable MSN online degree program, consider the type of nursing specialty that will allow you to practice in an area of interest. These nursing specialties include –• Nurse Anesthetist• Nursing Education and Instruction• Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner• Nurse Executive• Nursing Informatics• Nursing Staff Development Manager• Family Nurse Practitioner• Public Health Nursing• Clinical Supervisor Nurse• Pediatric Nurse Practitioner• Adult/Gerontologyo Acute Care Nurse Practitionero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
MSN Degree Programs Prepare You to Be a Leader
Earning an MSN online or on-campus degree offers more than advanced nursing skills and training. A graduate degree in nursing provides extensive leadership training that prepares graduates to inspire and positively influence –• The quality of patient care• The nursing leadership’s relationship with the staff• The development of innovative applications to better serve staff, clients, and the medical setting
An MSN Degree is in High Demand & Pays Well
The advanced nursing skills and leadership talents that students develop when completing an MSN degree are in great demand – with many hospitals and healthcare facilities proactively seeking MSN-level nursing professionals.
For example, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Midwives earn a median annual salary (2021) was $123,780 per year or nearly $60 per hour. To put this in context, the median annual salary for RNs in 2021 was $77,600.
Even more impressive is the anticipated job growth over the next ten years of 45% – 5 to 6 times the national average. This translates to the creation of more than 121,000 nursing positions for those who hold an MSN degree. The states that have the highest nursing employment levels for MSN professionals include –• California• Texas• New York• Florida• Pennsylvania
An MSN Degree Is a Convenient Alternative
Online learning has created more education options, especially for working learners who do not have to put their careers on hold to complete an MSN online degree program. Online programs offer convenience and flexibility that allows you to fit your school obligations into an already established work or family routine.
The best nursing opportunities typically require the completion of a Master of Science in Nursing degree; however, it has never been easier to reach for this degree and your career objectives. Completing a Master of Science degree program in Nursing is a smart way to advance your career toward the forefront of nursing healthcare.