Earning a Master’s in Nursing (MSN), for many nurses professionals, is the necessary next step to advancing their careers in the field. An MSN degree can provide increased autonomy on the job, higher salary opportunities, and greater career satisfaction. For those nurses who already hold a bachelor’s degree, there are various nursing master’s degree options available that will allow you to build on your BSN degree and advance your skills in the field.
When choosing an MSN program, it’s important to choose the best educational path that aligns with your nursing career goals. There are many nursing master’s degree options for nurses looking to take a more specialized clinical route. Typically, these MSN programs each focus on a specific patient population or area of advanced clinical nursing. There are also more comprehensive MSN program options, designed to help nurses pursuing more generalized advancement opportunities, such as leadership roles.
Specialized MSN Degree Options
One example of a clinical specialty degree is an MSN program that focuses in Pediatrics. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners provide primary care to children from infants through adolescents. This MSN specialization prepares students to be able to administer curative and preventative care for various injuries and illness in children.
Another type of nursing master’s degree option that is more clinically specialized is a Certified Nurse Midwife MSN program. This degree focuses on educating nurses to provide primary care for women throughout their childbearing years, through menopause and beyond. This degree program covers many vital topics that certified nurse midwifes provide to women including how to manage contraceptives, gynecological care, prenatal care, and birth and labor.
There are several other specialty nursing master’s degree options that RNs can choose from, depending on their interests and goals. Additional specialties include gerontology (both acute care and primary care), nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist, neonatal nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner (both acute care and primary care), psychiatric nurse practitioner, orthopedics, and women’s health nurse practitioner.
Comprehensive Master’s in Nursing Degree Options
If you do not want to narrow your career into a certain specialization, or prefer to touch more than one area of nursing, you may consider a more comprehensive MSN program. These nursing master’s degree options take a more generalized approach to the curriculum, covering core knowledge areas that are typically needed to advance an RN career. These MSN programs are a great choice for those nursing professionals who are interested in advanced, yet wide-ranging nursing skills. With the healthcare environment constantly changing, comprehensive programs tend to focus on the many evolving facets of public health, and how care is managed across numerous populations.
Population health focused MSN programs are a great option for those nurses who want to build their skills and competency levels across various healthcare environments. Goodwin College’s MSN program, for example, equips graduates to better understand healthcare-related policies and political implications, as well as broaden leadership and communication skills. Therefore, graduates with this level of MSN degree are highly prepared and qualified to take on nursing leadership roles like a Nurse Administrator or Nurse Educator.
Nursing Master’s Degree Formats
Among the many different nursing master’s degree options available, with their different curriculum focuses, it is also important to consider the format and structure of each particular program. Some degree programs require you to be in person for all classes, others offer courses completely online, and some offer classes in a hybrid online/in-person format. Everybody learns differently, so it’s important to choose a program that fits with your learning style and also meets your needs in regard to flexibility.
Similarly, it’s also important to consider how much time you can dedicate to the program itself. Can you take on a full-time workload? Or will you need a program that offers a part-time option so you can continue to work? The structure of each program may require different levels of commitment, so that it another thing to keep in mind when deciding the best nursing master’s degree option for you.
Goodwin College’s comprehensive MSN program is offered entirely online. We know that most registered nurses today need this level of flexibility – to be able to continue working, while advancing their education. The MSN degree program at Goodwin College can be completed in just 20 months part-time.
To learn more about Goodwin College’s MSN program – which focuses on social justice, nurse leadership, and population health – contact Goodwin today. Call 800-889-3282 or visit us online to learn more.