Nursing is a dynamic, rewarding and challenging career. Few opportunities offer such direct influence on the well being and continued health of people. While this career field is expected to continuously grow over the next decade, if you wish to expand upon the potential this career offers, then you should consider earning a Masters in Nursing, or MSN degree.
Top 9 Reasons to Get a MSN Degree
Not only does successfully completing a Master of Science in Nursing degree program enhance your working knowledge of nursing, it successfully opens new doors via specializations. While this may seem like enough of a reason to enroll in an MSN program, the following are the real reasons why you should spend the time and money on this advanced nursing degree.
#1 – Increased Job Opportunities
Who doesn’t want greater job prospects? After you’ve graduated with a MSN degree, you have an entire new industry at your disposal. While job opportunities for all nursing levels are projected to be quite good over the next decade, those with MSN degrees hold a greater chance of securing a top-ranking position, which generally comes with a top-ranking pay.
#2 – Increased Annual Income
Speaking of pay, holding a Masters in Nursing degree provides exceptionally higher pay. As with almost any industry, earning an advanced-level degree not only opens a realm of unique job opportunities, but simultaneously increases your average annual income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who hold an MSN degree have an average salary of just over $95,000, which is substantially higher than those with a traditional BSN degree. Of course, your actual income potential depends on your specialty, state and employer.
#3 – Move Into a Teaching Position
While this may not necessarily be a benefit for all aspiring MSN graduates, it’s an excellent option to consider for the future of your career. When you have a Masters in Nursing, it’s possible to extend your career into education. This means you can become an educator or mentor for aspiring or newly graduated nurses. While this may not be your ideal career path, many MSN graduates find this opportunity quite rewarding. Ultimately, being a nurse means making a difference in peoples lives. Earning a MSN helps extend this desire beyond patients and into the lives of fresh nursing students and graduates.
#4 – Online Coursework and Programs
Are you curious about earning your MSN, but simply don’t have time to attend traditional classroom lectures? One of the most exciting components of most MSN programs is their flexibility. Unlike BSN programs, which lay the foundation of your nursing career, this advanced degree program offers extreme flexibility to work around your life and work schedule. Instead of sacrificing your current workplace, most online nursing programs offer a significant amount of flexibility to help you learn without disrupting your current work and personal life.
#5 – Bridge Programs for Expedited Learning
For many years, if you wanted a Masters in Nursing you’d be forced to undergo anywhere from three to four years of additional schooling. While this ensured a complete understanding of these in-depth concepts, it wasn’t practical for many working professionals. Thankfully, times have changed.
If you already have a BSN degree, it’s possible to enroll in a BSN-MSN Bridge Program. Much like the RN-BSN Bridge Programs, this accelerated degree program leverages your pre-existing training and work experience. Essentially, this means you’ll spend less time earning your MSN without diluting the quality of your education. While these programs differ based on offering institution and state requirements, most BSN-MSN degree programs take anywhere from 1.5 years to 2 years to complete. Not only is this exceptionally faster, but the decreased time also translates into cheaper tuition.
#6 – Bolstered Autonomy in the Workplace
Autonomy is a goal for many professionals. This term means you’re able to go about your workday with minimal supervision. By earning a MSN degree, you’ve demonstrated an above-average understanding and capability in your position. While there’s no such thing as complete autonomy as a nurse, this designation means you’ll be trusted to perform your work with little oversight. For many nurses, this is not only desirable on a personal front, but is professionally satisfying as it essentially means you’re trusted to make the best decisions in your position.
#7 – Faster Advancements and Promotions
Because the nursing field is closely regulated, advancing in this career requires an immense amount of clinical and classroom experience. When you have a Masters in Nursing degree, you’re not only legally applicable for advancements and promotions, but your upward mobility occurs must faster than if you only have a BSN. With a MSN degree, you qualify for advanced-level certifications and access to unique nursing specializations. This not only provides greater career satisfaction, but often offers a boost in annual pay.
#8 – Access to Monetary Bonuses
While not applicable in all situations, many employers encourage their nurses to earn a MSN degree by offering increased compensation and bonuses. In some situations, an employer may even pay for some or all of your tuition costs. The reason for this is simple. MSN graduates hold a stronger understanding of their field. For the employer, this means greater patient care, reduced likelihood of costly mistakes and greater ratings among patients and industry organizations.
#9 – Better Professional Networking Opportunities
This is true for any advanced degree. As you weave through the educational institution and professional world, you’ll encounter a vast array of industry professionals. In terms of progressing your career, this means you’ll have access to individuals capable of taking your career to the next level. Whether you’re thinking of transitioning into a specific specialization, or simply wish to become more involved in the healthcare industry as a whole, MSN degree programs and graduates are provided with rare networking opportunities. In many cases, promotions and unique advancement opportunities are a direct result from the networking moments triggered by earning a MSN degree.