Do Registered Nurses Need a Master's Degree?

Whether you’ve just earned your Registered Nursing (RN) license or have been working at the same hospital for 10 years, it might be time to further your career by furthering your education. The world of nursing is an ever-changing and challenging field. In your career, just like in an emergency room, you need to be prepared for anything and everything. Earning your Master of Science in Nursing can open up career opportunities and lead to salary increases. But it also means more freedom and more responsibility. Still wondering why you should get your MSN? Here are five more reasons:

1. You’ll Earn More

The simple truth of nursing: More education typically equals more money. Just two years of education could more than triple your current salary. The average RN earns $64,241 a year, but as a nurse practitioner, you could earn $89,450. A nursing educator can expect to make around $76,140 annually and for a nursing director, the average annual income is $117,909.

2. You Can Make a Career Change

Earning your MSN opens up a world of job options. You can take a focus on women’s health as a Nurse Midwife or try holistic approach to medicine as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Not only are you diving into a more rewarding — and lucrative — career, you’re diversifying job skills, building your resume and making yourself an invaluable member of the medical staff. An MSN will distinguish you as skilled professional and competent candidate for any nursing job.

3. You’ll be in Demand

The U.S. needs Advanced Practice Registered Nurses with MSNs to fill growing gaps in medical staffs. With the rising cost of health care and lack of proper medical care in rural areas, nurses have an abundance of career opportunities with competitive salaries. A Master of Science in Nursing will not only give you the qualifications, but allow for even greater advancement in the field.

4. You Can Mold the Future of Health Care

If you're the nurse all new nurses want as a mentor, it’s time to put those teaching skills to better use. With an MSN, you could help educate the nurses of tomorrow. You can pursue a specialty in Nurse Education, focusing on fields like educational research and educational policy, management, Medicare / Medicaid, and nursing and health care instruction. After you earn your MSN, you’ll be eligible to take the Nursing Professional Development Board Certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Corporation and the Certified Nurse Education credential by the National League for Nursing. From there, you can work to improve the future of nursing and, ultimately, the health of countless others.

5. You Can Learn at Your Convenience

By now, you probably understand how earning your MSN will help your career, but you might still be stuck on how to balance work, family and classes. Keep in mind that you can earn a well-respected master’s by studying online as well. Such a program would allow you to stay local and continue working, all the while doing what you need to do to advance your career. Brought to you by Nursing License Map and Nursing@Georgetown. This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator, Erica Moss on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2U - an education-technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as Georgetown University to deliver their Masters in Nursing degree online. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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