The MSN Job Description: What Does an MSN Nurse Do After Graduate School?

There’s no doubt about it: graduate school helps take your career to the next level. As a nurse, earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) will help you go from a registered nurse to an entire array of advanced leadership positions. With a program like Goodwin College’s MSN degree, which focuses on population health, you would gain the experience and confidence to apply for jobs that require a master’s and a sophisticated nursing skillset.

What exactly are those advanced skills in nursing? And how can you guarantee that your resumé will make the cut? What sorts of roles will you be eligible for once you earn your MSN? What does an MSN nurse do after earning their degree? These questions are all an important part of the grad-school deliberation process. With the MSN job description in mind, we’re going to break down your MSN education into cover-letter catered deliverables:

What skills does the Goodwin College MSN program focus on building?

Goodwin College’s MSN program will help you build your research acumen and develop your clinical skillset. You’ll pick apart the layers of healthcare policy and politics. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll dive into leadership training and communications, which truly prepare you for a future in healthcare. The MSN curriculum is varied and broad, keeping you interested and engaged with your education, to see you through to the end of your master’s degree.

Will I become specialized in an in-demand area?

Yes! Goodwin College’s MSN specialty is Population Health, which plays a vital role in the nursing and overarching healthcare field. According to a 2015 study from the Commonwealth Fund that cross-references public health concepts across varying global nations, population health management (a potential career outcome available with an MSN) has these benefits for the individual:

  1. Results in fewer visits to the Emergency Room
  2. Brings down the cost per service by integrating care professionals including clinicians, social workers, physical therapists, and behavioral healthcare professionals
  3. Improves the patient experience through better access to care, and empowers patients to manage their own care

As a student, you’ll become well-equipped to tackle the big challenges of accessibility and environment, which are the largest influencing factors of population health, and certainly affect us here in the United States. This ultimately translates to owning the leadership power to help shape policies and politics that will impact a lot of people requiring quality health care.

What jobs can I apply for with my MSN?

There are many possible career outcomes that stem from earning your MSN. One attractive job option is to become a Nurse Administrator, also known as Nurse Manager, Nurse Executive, or Clinical Nurse Leader. These types of nursing leaders need to possess a blend of healthcare and business skills in order to manage the costs and quality of patient care. Their MSN job description includes:

  • Budget and financial management
  • Regulation management
  • Supervising, motivating, and leading nurse staff
  • Record-keeping of facility and resource usage
  • Endeavoring to save on costs and improve overall efficiency of their department

Nurse Administrators and similar roles may find jobs in laboratories, hospitals, and long-term nursing care facilities. They also may keep their scope on a smaller level, focusing on one facility, or may go into consulting, which may comprise many medical institutions. After earning your MSN, you should be able to check these requirements off of your list of qualifications to enter a role like this!

Of course, there are many additional career options once you achieve your MSN degree. Coursework in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment, among others, will prepare you for advanced clinical positions, such as becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, or a Human Resource Manager in a healthcare institution.

What do the salaries and growth prospects look like for these MSN job descriptions?

Thanks to the Occupational Health Outlook for these positions, we can easily contrast a Registered Nurse position to the more advanced roles available with an MSN degree. RN’s earned a median pay rate of $70k in 2017 and this job outlook is poised to rise 15 percent between 2016-26. In comparison:

  • Medical and Health Services Managers earned a median pay rate of $98.3k in 2017 and this job outlook is poised to increase 20 percent between 2016-26 (much faster than average)
  • Human Resource Managers earned a median pay rate of $110.1k in 2017 and this job outlook is poised to rise 9 percent between 2016-26 (as fast as average)
  • Nurse Practitioners earned a median pay rate of $110.9k in 2017 and this job outlook is poised at rising 31 percent between 2016-26 (much faster than average)
  • Nurse Educators earn a mean annual salary of $77,360, with Nurse Educators in general hospital settings earning even more each year – close to $90,000, on average.

You can see the clear advantage to earning an advanced nursing degree!

Hopefully by now we’ve answered all your original questions. If you’re still asking, “What does an MSN Nurse do?” the short answer is this: an MSN nurse is a leader, a mentor, and a forward-thinker in the nursing field. MSN nurses are needed to guide aspiring nurses and health care staff, and to ensure the quality of care that patients receive on the day-to-day. MSN nurses can do a lot within the field—with this advanced nursing degree, the job opportunities you’ll qualify for are truly endless.

For further information about Goodwin College’s MSN nursing program and to learn more about the advantages of earning an MSN, we welcome you to contact a representative from our Admissions team by calling 800-889-3282 today!