The Benefits of Having a Master’s Degree in Nursing

You decided to go into Nursing because of your passion for health, and for helping individuals achieve their best quality of life. You carefully selected an undergraduate program and studied your coursework diligently. You proudly earned your Registered Nurse licensure and landed a position in your field, which has allowed you to apply your skill set and learn from new challenges every day. Now, years later, you love your job more than ever and want to take the next step forward in your career. Obtaining your Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN) could be that next building block for you. While it’s not by any means a requirement for RNs, the advantages to having an MSN are vast! From higher salary potential to specialized position opportunities, selecting a master’s program in nursing (such as Goodwin College’s MSN degree program) is the key to all sorts of new doors in your field.

After a couple of years practicing as a nurse, you’ve probably identified your favorite parts about your job. Maybe it’s pediatrics, maybe mental health, disabilities, acute care, or community care. Now, you are ready to take on more responsibilities and more of a leadership role in your area of interest. An MSN program will allow you to do so, providing the education and certification necessary to move forward in your nursing specialization. A Master’s Degree in Nursing will also open up increased opportunities for you in the workplace.

With an MSN, you would become an advanced nurse practitioner, allowing you to operate both independently and collaboratively in a clinical role. Nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat acute illnesses, as well as prescribe medications and refer patients to a specialist as individual cases require. If gaining this level of autonomy and expertise sounds appealing to you, know that earning your Master’s Degree in Nursing will lead to rewarding career moves and give you a competitive edge.

We’ve talked a little bit about specializations within nursing, but the sheer amount of options available is undoubtedly one of the most exciting things about this field. Some of today’s most in-demand options are gerontology (working with the aging population), becoming a nurse anesthetist (allowing you to assist in any surgery room, ER, specialists’ office, and more), midwifery (working specifically with women and pregnancies), and becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner (someone who cares for infants with unique circumstances). Furthermore, you could go into family practice, orthopedics, psychiatric health. On the more managerial side of things, you could pursue positions such as a nurse administrator (facilitating human resources or organizational behavior) or a nurse educator (designing and implementing learning programs in education or health settings). Even further, you could select a specific patient population (pediatrics, obstetrics, etc.) to work with, type of ailment (cancer, heart disease) to treat, or a specific treatment approach (physical therapy, preventative care) you’d like to practice, and become a clinical nurse specialist. The choices before you are almost limitless. Beginning your career as an RN, and electing to start on your MSN, is a path towards a multitude of career possibilities.

With more education and specialization comes a true potential for higher compensation. According to Nursejournal.org, BSN degree holders earn between $42,343 and $81,768 annually. MSN degree holders, on the other hand, earn well above those numbers, making between $62,281 and $195,743 a year. The range of these numbers varies due to geographical location, employer, specific specialization, and more. However, the difference in salary potential is crystal clear.

The field of nursing is also growing rapidly. So much, in fact, that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of nurses will increase by 16 percent by 2024! Getting a jump-start on your education now is a future-thinking choice that will give you a head-start on a successful career. Opportunities in specialized positions will only continue to grow with the daily (hourly!) advancements of medical science.

Some MSN programs, like the one at Goodwin College, are designed with graduate students’ best interests in mind. Working with your schedule, Goodwin College’s Master’s in Nursing program is offered entirely online, allowing you to work full-time while completing your degree. Through our flexible program, students take core classes in Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Physical Assessment. They deepen their research skills, delve into healthcare policy and politics, as well as prevention and treatment methods, and learn to think big and small (from studying population health to individual case management). Additionally, because Goodwin offers three semesters annually, you can finish your degree faster and even complete your studies in as few as 20 months, part-time. Goodwin College’s MSN is designed to help nurses make an impact in the healthcare field. Solidifying this commitment, credits earned in this program are transferrable towards doctoral programs, for those nurses who want to continue their education beyond their Master’s, and towards their Ph.D.

Even down to admission requirements, Goodwin maintains a dedication to offering a program for experienced professionals. Therefore, the expectation is that you’ve gained at least two years of working experience. Unlike most MSN programs, however, you will not be required to submit GRE scores in order to qualify for admission. Incoming students must already have their bachelor’s degree and must be fully licensed RNs.

To learn more about the benefits of Goodwin College’s Master’s program in Nursing, or to request information, please call 800-889-3282 or visit us online at Goodwin.edu/masters/msn!