The global pandemic has shown us that healthcare and nursing careers are critical to the greater community. Whether you have a nursing degree, are an RN (registered nurse) now, or work as a certified nurse’s assistant, now is a great time to return to school online or part-time to earn your master’s degree in nursing. Not only will this make you more knowledgeable and skilled in the field of nursing, but it could also open you up to a variety of other opportunities in the future. If you’re considering returning to school for your MSN, read on for reasons why it’s a great idea.
What is an MSN?
Advanced level nursing, MSN nursing programs give nurses the ability to specialize in the field of medicine. Where a registered nurse, or RN, with a bachelor’s degree or less training would offer direct client care to patients, MSN nurses have more options. These highly skilled nurses, who have a master of science in nursing, can pick a specialty including but not limited to clinical nurse administration, clinical nurse education, nursing leadership, or nurse practitioner. Their advanced practice work means they can not only supervise other nurses but facilitate their training and clinical studies, too.
The best way to learn more about what an MSN does is to contact a university offering collegiate nursing education or to speak directly to an advanced practice nurse about their experiences in the field and through school. A stressful but rewarding career path, people with advanced practice nursing degrees are able to make a difference in areas like healthcare management and patient care.
How could an MSN degree improve your quality of life?
One of the great things about earning an MSN and becoming an advanced practice nurse is that it offers more choices. While the average registered nurse might work long or overnight shifts, nurse practitioners and other nursing supervisors work more traditional hours. This leads to more time with family.
Maybe you’re already in nursing and are having trouble balancing home life with long hours. Normal human behavior and inclination is to want to do something to find more balance. Getting an MSN is a great option for people already in the field looking to increase their quality of life. Whether through an online program or through taking classes in a graduate degree program after hours, it’s possible to obtain an MSN while working. If you’re distracted by things like trying to explain what phubbing is to a spouse you don’t see often, wishing you were spending time with children who need more of your attention, or just want more time at home, this could be a great way to find that balance.
An advanced nursing degree also means a higher income. Perhaps you’re trying to finance your home renovation with a loan and are struggling or worry frequently about how to make monthly payments. If this is the case, a higher degree level would be a good option for making those worries go away and giving you peace of mind.
What would a master of science mean to your overall career?
Earning an MSN could be an important factor in giving you more options at work. For someone who’s interested in healthcare leadership or administration, there’s no doubt you’d be happier supervising other nurses or working to make a difference through nursing education and the supervision of clinical hours. This move would give you more options when it comes to specialty work as well.
In the end, your decision on whether to return to school for an advanced nursing degree is up to you. After considering financing and your ultimate career goals or whether it would be feasible for you, take the time to research the coursework, clinical hours, and level of commitment it would take for you to complete your master’s degree in nursing. If you still aren’t sure whether an MSN degree is right for you, talk to a colleague, the nurse practitioners you work with, or a family primary care provider who supervises you. They may be able to help you identify the pros and cons specific to your special interests, skill set, and more.