Deciding to pursue your MSN degree is a huge step forward in your nursing career path. It certainly does open the door to more advanced roles and more competitive salaries. It may even help you achieve new personal heights and reach long-standing life goals. However, beyond career advancement, or even the satisfaction of accomplishment, there is a deeper, more meaningful reason to take graduate nursing classes.
With a graduate education, you can offer better service to everyone who comes into the ER, OR, PT, or OB room. Whatever setting you work in, you can contribute to keeping your healthcare center up-to-date with the most cutting-edge treatments, technologies, and information. You can be the carrier of knowledge who tips the scales in the favor of the patient, helping them to get better faster, and stay healthier longer. With graduate nursing classes under your belt, you’re equipped to deliver better care.
Don’t just believe us— take it from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Leading health scientists affiliated with the RWJF found some fascinating links between more highly educated nurses, and patient success rates. Case and point: lower numbers of mortality were found among patient populations cared for by more educated nurses. In a study of Pennsylvania hospitals, scientists discovered that by raising the proportion of just BSN-educated nurses by 10%, hospitals can decrease patient deaths by at least 5%. That is an enormous survival advantage! One can safely imagine how an MSN degree would influence positive patient outcomes even further.
Now, within an MSN program, some coursework will be a refresh of what you already know, from your BSN or more introductory RN education. However, your graduate-level courses will touch on new and advanced topics, as well. At Goodwin, for example, most MSN courses are designed to help you build new skills in the field of population health. Finally, your capstone will help you become the nurse that you hope to be, through an in-depth special project, depending on your own clinical specialty.
You can expect that your graduate courses will also cover the American Association of College of Nursing essential core competencies for a Master’s in Nursing degree. Included in this overarching rubric are:
- Clinical prevention and population health
- Informatics and evidence-based practice
- Interprofessional collaboration and leadership
- Policy, advocacy, quality, and safety
- Program evaluation to improve patient outcomes
In earning your MSN, you’ll be balancing clinical-focused curriculum like Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice, and Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice, along with leadership and policy-driven coursework. You’ll also cover physical assessment, healthcare organizational policy and politics, communications, and informatics, in addition to theoretical foundations.
The best part about these graduate nursing classes? They’re always available! With Goodwin College’s flexible online program, you never have to wait to enroll in a class because of capacity, or staggered semester offerings. You can take the classes that you need, online, and on your own time.
At Goodwin and in most graduate nursing programs, you’ll end with a capstone project. This is a very special opportunity. It requires that you study for 90 hours, underneath a mentor. During this time, you get to dive into a range of applications of population health, including:
- Leadership and interpersonal collaboration and communication
- Clinical expertise
- Resource management and fiscal planning
- Computer information systems
Beyond the theory, policy, and “-ology” courses that you’ve already aced, included in this list are some of the soft skillsets that are most in-demand by esteemed healthcare centers today. The journal American Nurse Today explains that excellent communication and teamwork, a positive attitude, professionalism, and critical and problem-solving abilities do not only impact your team, but also contribute to the quality of patient care you provide. In turn, this affects patient satisfaction and health outcomes. Surveys administered by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) have collected the data from patients themselves, in order to prove the relationship between patient satisfaction and these qualities in nursing care providers. Therefore, nurse leaders are expected to attain a high level of these soft skills and emotional intelligence quota, or EI. Graduate nursing classes partnered with a capstone project will help you develop into the best nurse leader that you can be.
As you can see, taking graduate nursing classes is one of the best things that you can do, not only for your own career, but for patients and healthcare centers too! Learn how far you can go with a Goodwin College MSN. Call for more information, at 800-889-3282, or visit us online today.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.