Career Outlook and Prospects with a Masters of Nursing

While many other industries are struggling in today’s economy, the medical field continually has job openings available. The average age continues to rise due to the aging baby boomer population, meaning there’s a larger elderly population in need of care. Add that to the growing general population, and you can see why nurses with advanced degrees are in demand and the nursing field continues to grow.

Nursing Career Outlook

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for the nursing field is rated as “excellent” with employment expected to grow much faster than average job growth in all fields. From 2008 to 2018, there will be about 22 percent more nursing jobs available, bringing the overall total to over 3.2 million jobs. That’s a lot of nurses!

Of course, some types of nurses are in higher demand than others. In terms of employers, nursing job growth will increase most in physician offices, home health care services, and nursing home facilities. Hospitals will also continue to need a high volume of nurses.

The graph below shows the projected growth rates for RNs in different work environments:

Advanced Nursing Careers

When you earn a master’s degree, you’ll be able to choose from one of four advanced nursing paths: nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, or certified nurse anesthetist. Nurse practitioners are in highest demand, in part because this is a more general field where you’ll specialize in a certain type of medicine and work directly with patients. However, you can make more money in one of the specialized certified fields, or by specializing as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, in a type of medicine where nurses are in high demand, like critical care or geriatrics.

Due to the decreasing number of physicians going into general practice, the demand for qualified nurse practitioners continues to rise. In my facilities, the nurse practitioner often fills the role of a general practitioner, seeing patients of all ages to treat general ailments and educate people about their health. In some cases, the nurse practitioner will work under the supervision of another doctor; in others, they have the ability to run their own practice. This depends on state regulations; in some states, nurse practitioners even have the authority to prescribe medication.

Reasons to Earn an Advanced Nursing Degree:

  • To qualify for higher-level positions
  • The ability to earn a higher salary
  • To remain competitive in the field
  • To advance your current career
  • To go into nursing education
  • To fill management or leadership positions

Daily Responsibilities

If you earn your masters of nursing, how will your duties differ from your current tasks as an RN with just an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree?

In general, your level of responsibility will increase, since you’ll have advanced training in your field. In some states, earning your master’s degree even allows you to practice medicine without the direct supervision of a doctor. This means that you will see patients from start to end, following through with their entire medical care.

Your specific daily responsibilities will depend greatly on the advanced track you choose to take. Your degree can qualify you for many positions, including management roles, educator, advanced nurse practitioner, and more. You could end up leading a team of nurses, go into practice for yourself, teach nursing at a college or university, and more.

In addition, with a master’s degree, you’ll be able to specialize in an area of medicine that interests you, rather than doing general nursing work with many different types of patients.

Online Master’s in Nursing Degree Programs

Earning a Master of Science in nursing (MSN) degree can open a world of career possibilities within the nursing profession. Listed below are featured online universities that confer MSN degrees.

Grand Canyon University
MSN in Nurse Leadership
MSN/MBA in Leadership
Grand Canyon University — The MSN/MBA dual degree from Grand Canyon University will prepare people to become leaders and managers of nurses. A MSN in Nurse Education provides students the educational and background to teach people the skills necessary to become nurses. A MSN in Nurse Leadership provides the communication skills required to establish good relationships between nurses, patients, and management as well as other leadership skills. Click Here
South University
MSN in Adult Health Practitioner
MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner
MSN in Nurse Educator
South University — The MSN from South University is for registered nurses seeking to advance their career. The accelerated RN to MSN program is designed for professional seeking to enhance their professions. With this program you will go through an intense course of study that will get you ready for leadership positions in the healthcare industry. A MSN in Nurse Education will help you develop the skills needed to shape the future of healthcare through your input and expertise. Click Here
Walden University
RN to MSN in Education
RN to MSN in Informatics
RN to MSN in Leadership and Management
Walden University — The RN to MSN program at Walden University will help you advance your leadership skills and prepare you for management within the healthcare industry. The RN to MSN program will allow you to expand on your ability to positively contribute to society through the care you give to patients. Specialty MSN degrees are also available in informatics, education, and leadership. Click Here
Simmons College
RN to MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner
Simmons College — Simmons College is a highly-rated leader in online education with years of providing excellent service to its students and alumni. Simmons is dedicated to empowering its graduates to fill and succeed in high demand positions in the nursing industry through career-oriented material, hands-on assignments, and developing skills needed for primary and secondary responsibilities. Simmons has many an MSN degree in Family Nurse Practice available online. Click Here
Jacksonville University
Jacksonville University — An RN to MSN degree from Jacksonville University prepares candidates to work at a variety of settings, including nursing homes, hospitals, and residences. Students will learn the theory and research behind nursing. Your education at this school will give you a hands-on experience caring for patients and give you a realistic view of what it is like to stand in front of a class of future nurses and health care. Click Here

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