Whether you are a nurse or nursing student, chances are you have considered the question: “Should I get my Master’s in Nursing degree?”
Whether you’re looking to gain more specialized skills and training, more authority in the workplace, or make a more significant impact in your community, completing a master’s in nursing degree makes it possible to work in various areas and specialties within the nursing field.
Candidates can complete an advanced degree in nursing quickly, which often opens the door to career advancement and higher salaries.
This article will explain what you can expect from a Master’s in Nursing program and the many benefits pursuing this degree can offer interested candidates.
What is a Master’s in Nursing Degree?
A Master’s in Nursing is a post-graduate degree that gives graduates the skills and knowledge to pursue advanced roles in the nursing field, such as a nurse administrator, a clinical nurse specialist, and a family nurse practitioner.
Depending on career goals, candidates can choose to enroll in a generalized master’s program or choose a specialized program. Remember that each program will have unique requirements and expectations, so students should research to determine which degree best suits their needs.
1. General Master’s of Science in Nursing Degree Program
This generalized degree program covers all the bases in advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment. Additionally, students expand their skill set into research, healthcare-related policies and political implications, leadership, and communication.
These programs often take two years or less to complete and equip graduates to impact the present healthcare system while focusing on patient prevention and treatment.
Common courses include:
- Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice
- Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice
- Theoretical Foundations of Population Health
- Seminar in Nursing Research
- Policy, Politics, and Organization of Healthcare
Lastly, graduates of general Master’s in Nursing programs leave with a well-sharpened set of skills, enabling them to successfully fill various advanced positions in the field, further their education with a specialized program, and maybe even earn a doctorate.
2. Specialized Master’s in Nursing Programs
Specialized nursing programs are great for candidates interested in specific jobs within the nursing field. And unlike the generalized Master’s in Nursing degree, these programs study one particular subject in great detail and depth.
Some standard specialized degree programs include:
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
- Public Health Nurse
Before choosing these types of programs, candidates should know what environment they want to work in and have at least some experience in that field before committing to a specialized degree.
Interested in specializing in mental health? Learn more about becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Goodwin University!
Five Benefits of a Master’s of Science in Nursing
By completing a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN), graduates receive a multitude of benefits, including the potential to pursue additional career paths, higher earnings, and significant contributions to their communities.
1. Additional and Advanced Career Paths
Nowadays, employers at hospitals and healthcare organizations look for master’s graduates for many managerial and leadership positions.
For example, an advanced nursing degree allows candidates to become advanced nurse practitioners who can operate independently and collaboratively in a clinical role, diagnose and treat acute illnesses, prescribe medications, and refer patients to specialists.
Ultimately, nurses with advanced degrees gain more independence and authority in their careers, as they can decide what they want to do and which roles they’re best suited to take on.
Other advanced practice roles requiring a Master’s in Nursing include:
- Nurse Educator
- Nurse Researcher
- Nurse Administrator
- Nurse Midwife
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Forensic Nurse
- Case Manager
2. Increased Earning Potential
Like most industries, earning an advanced degree in nursing can significantly boost one’s earnings and salary.
And though the state and environment will determine the exact salary a nurse earns, graduates in advanced practice nurse roles—such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners—can expect to earn a median annual salary of $123,780, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Compare this to the median annual salary of a registered nurse, $77,600, and it’s clear why many nurses choose to dedicate time and effort to pursue an advanced degree.
3. Positive Patient and Community Impact
Good nurses are passionate about positively impacting and improving the lives of their patients and patient’s families. Advanced nursing graduates can further develop skills and expertise to provide specialized, high-level care to improve patient outcomes.
Additionally, nurses with advanced nursing degrees provide services for people in need by opening up practices and clinics in areas with limited hospital access. And in doing all of this, individuals gain a higher sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction knowing they positively impacted their community.
4. Increased Job Security
The nursing field is growing rapidly, and the pandemic showed the stark reality of a nationwide nursing shortage.
The BLS projects that the employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners to grow forty percent by 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. This forty percent growth includes an average of about 30,200 job openings yearly due to the increased demand for healthcare services and workers retiring or transferring to different careers.
By pursuing a Master’s in Nursing, you demonstrate dedication to education and growth while gaining specialized knowledge to keep pace with the ever-evolving medical field. These traits and an advanced degree make you more desirable and sought after by future employers and in the nursing job market.
5. Respect in the Workplace
With a master’s level of knowledge and expertise, individuals gain increased respect. Because co-workers, employers, and other healthcare professionals understand the time, energy, and commitment it takes to complete an advanced degree, graduates of these programs are well-respected. Additionally, advanced nursing graduates often become guides and mentors for other colleagues in their workplace.
A Master of Science in Nursing at Goodwin University
An MSN degree offers unparalleled benefits and value, from opening candidates up to various work settings, job prospects, specializations, population options, and advancement opportunities to higher salaries, job security, and increased knowledge and respect.
If you’re still struggling to answer the question, “Should I get my master’s in nursing degree?” consider the affordable and flexible programs offered at Goodwin University.
Our programs allow nurses to complete an advanced degree in twenty months or less through a fully flexible and online thirty-credit Master’s in Nursing program. You can start making a more significant impact in the lives of patients and their patient’s families in less than two years.
No more worrying about crawling into class after a long shift or leaving a job to pursue graduate school. Students complete the work on their schedule, in their own space.
Plus, at Goodwin University, we pride ourselves on tuition transparency, offering information about grants, scholarships, student loans, and work-study so students know exactly what the program entails. There is no reason why we can’t achieve something great together.
Learn more about how our Master’s of Science in Nursing program can advance and improve your career and the lives of others by contacting us today!