Nursing, a career in high demand across many areas of the country, requires a sense of compassion and a bachelor’s degree. While some registered nurses are satisfied with their work and have no desire to work as an advanced nurse, others consider furthering their education, and seeking an advanced nursing career. The options for advancing your nursing career, both through education and career paths, are numerous, making it challenging to make the right choices for your career.
What Are Your Options In Advanced Nursing?Before entering an advanced nursing degree program, it is important to evaluate your career options to ensure you are making the right choice. An advanced nursing degree beyond a bachelor’s degree opens many doors for registered nurses. While some registered nurses already specialize in a particular area, an advanced nursing degree narrows your specialties and allows you to mold your career into a specific area of medicine. Registered nurse specialties do not offer the same advantages as an advanced degree. As you consider your options for an advanced nursing degree, you must research the career options that as a result will become available to you. Nurses who hold an advanced degree can choose from areas, such as:
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Advanced Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nurse Specialist
- Nurse Attorney
- Nurse Researcher
- Certified Nurse Midwife
Why Consider A Specialty Advanced Degree?Employers are typically interested in hiring someone who is success driven and eager to advance. When you complete a specialty advanced degree, you increase your marketability, making you a more appealing candidate. In addition, you increase your earning potential and become a more valuable employee, improving your chances for future promotions.
Choosing Your SpecialtySome nurses seek out specialties that offer the highest rate of pay. When choosing your specialty, however, it is also important to look at your unique interests and then use those interests to determine the best specialty for your ideal nursing career. For instance, if you are interested in helping women, before, during and after the birth of a child, becoming a certified nurse midwife is likely the best option for you. Working with a career counselor, particularly one at a nursing school, will help you evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and interests to find the perfect advanced nursing career so you can provide the best quality of care to your patients.
The Path To An Advanced Nursing CareerOnce you know where you want your advanced nursing career path to lead, you must determine how to get there. The first step in the process is to choose a graduate school that offers an advanced nursing program. Before you choose a school, you should ask the following questions:
- What are the prerequisites for the program, including GPA and GRE scores?
- How long is the program and is it available full or part time?
- Does the school offer online options?
- What options does the school offer for financial aid?
- What is the experience of the faculty?
- Are there field experiences available?
- Is the school accredited by the proper organizations?
- Do they offer job placement assistance programs?