Masters in Nursing

Getting compensated for saving lives? There are few careers as gratifying as nursing. Receive your reward for helping people on a daily basis with one of the highest starting salaries for new graduates, according to U.S. News and World Report. The time to get a master’s degree in nursing is now. Lawmakers across the country are opening the doors for graduate level nurses to have more responsibilities and professional opportunities in health care. With these new responsibilities, nurses have the chance to advance their careers and pad their paychecks.

What do nurses with master’s degrees do?

There are several different types of nurses. Each nursing type has a particular area of focus. Before entering a nursing program, ask yourself where your primary interest lies. With your selection, you will be able to devote yourself to a topic that you can be passionate about. For example, if you love and can relate to children, consider becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are passionate about volunteering with the elderly, look into becoming a geriatric nurse practitioner. Entering into a specific field of nursing where your interest lies will help you transform your job into more than just work – it can become something you can stay excited about on a daily basis. While most nurses without master’s degrees can work long hours with unpredictable shifts, other nurses who earn their master’s degree can advance to positions with greater responsibilities – and greater rewards. Advanced practice nurses can focus on areas including oncology, psychiatry, anesthesia, midwifery, and many more. There are a variety of specific areas to focus on, providing a range of choices for those wishing to get their master’s degree in nursing.

What kind of educational commitment is expected for a master’s degree in nursing?

The majority of programs that offer master degrees in nursing require applicants to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing beforehand, as well. The basic requirements vary from school to school, but applicants may be expected to bring with them a grade point average of at least 3.0 from their previous undergraduate studies. Additional requirements could include a minimum score on the Graduate Record Exam or Miller Analogies Test, a proper number of references and recommendations, related work experience and coursework, and more. Students can also expect to commit to a minimum of a year-and-a-half to two years of full-time study to complete their master’s degree in nursing. Full- and part-time study programs are available, though nurses can expect to spend from three to five years on part-time study. Online nursing master’s degree programs and courses are also both common and convenient for those already in the workforce who wish to advance their education. Consult with the website or admissions officer of the school or program in which you are interested in enrolling for details specific to the institution.

Why get a master’s degree in nursing?

A master’s degree in nursing is necessary for nurses who wish to go on to more advanced care or managerial nursing positions. There are many exciting opportunities for nurses who get their master’s degrees and the demand is building for them in the work force. Nurses at the graduate level are essential to teaching, primary advanced care, research, and clinical specialties. With a master’s degree, advanced practice nurses can expect to order tests, conduct examinations, diagnose illnesses, make decisions on patient care, help deliver babies, and help in a multitude of areas of care depending on their expertise. Many of these advanced practice nurses offer an efficient and effective alternative to the doctors who previously held the positions the nurses are now advancing into. Though the cost of a master’s degree in nursing can be high depending on the program – ranging from $35,000 to $60,000, according to U.S. News and World Report – making the investment in education and training will help ensure a lucrative and rewarding future in the healthcare field.

What kind of salary can nurses with master’s degrees anticipate?

In some nursing positions, the salary difference between having a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing may not seem worth the investment of time and money while getting the degree. However, nurses with advanced degrees will open the door to many choices in advanced, specialized fields that are not available to nurses with only bachelor’s degrees. For example, nurses who focus on anesthesia earn the highest paycheck – as much as $150,000 per year, according to U.S. News and World Report. However, these types of nurses are often always on call. Depending on where the nurses work, the hospital or healthcare provider may also offer bonuses for advanced degrees. Salaries may also depend on the location of the hospital or practice of the nurse. Nurses in the Northeast and West Coast of the United States can anticipate more lucrative salaries.

Open the door to the future with a master’s degree in nursing.

Putting money toward getting a master’s degree in nursing will pay off in the future. With demands increasing for advanced practice nursing and their responsibilities and possibilities broadening, the future holds more and more opportunities for those with master’s degrees in nursing.

References

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/msn-article

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2012/01/12/weighing-costs-of-an-online-masters-in-nursing-

http://nursing.jhu.edu/academics/programs/masters/index.html

http://www.nysna.org/education/faqs.html