If you are a nurse who is looking to broaden their horizons and climb the career ladder, obtaining a master’s in nursing may be the perfect path for you to go down. The main purpose of an MSN degree is to teach nurses advanced clinical skills and knowledge in a range of areas of nursing.
While completing a BSN or AND degree may help when it comes to getting closer to your personal and professional goals, studying for an MSN degree instead can provide you with many perks you may not have ever considered. To help make your mind up, here are ten reasons why we think you should obtain a master’s in nursing.
Increase in Salary
Understandably, one of the main reasons why nurses pursue an MSN degree is for the immediate increase in salary. Nurses who study for an AND degree tend to earn roughly $67,000 per year, while nurses who obtain a BSN degree take home $80,000 per annum. Those who go the extra mile and obtain an MSN degree can expect to earn up to $92,000 per year on average.
Command More Respect
No matter the nursing career you want to obtain, it’s only natural that you will want to have support, guidance, and respect from your peers. If you decide to pursue an MSN degree, you will earn admiration from healthcare professionals and your colleagues, which can help you feel more confident in your abilities and help make people take you more seriously. After completing your masters in nursing, you may find that your peers respect your thoughts and opinions more, as well as come to you for support and guidance.
Become an Educator
If you have a passion for helping others and want to play a part in educating the nurses of the future, many individuals pursue an MSN degree to become a nurse educator. Nurse educators can work in a variety of settings, including:
- Vocational schools
- Nursing schools
To succeed as a nurse educator, it’s important that you have the right skillset behind you to help you stand out from your peers. Some of the key traits required include:
- Excellent communication skills
- Listening skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Time management skills
More Flexibility at Work
As an MSN holder, you will tend to be ranked among the most experienced and qualified nurses in the workplace, meaning you can enjoy more flexibility at work than most LPNs or RNs. This means that you can request shifts that are more convenient to your needs, as well as take more time off than other nurses.
As a nurse, trying to balance your work life, social life, and family life can be a challenge. If you’re looking to go back into education, you may be wondering how you will fit your studies around your day to day life. Thankfully, there are various online schools who deliver RN to MSN nurse practitioner courses, providing you with the flexibility you need. Other benefits of online learning include:
- Study at your own pace
- Learn from the comfort of your own home
- Lower total costs and fees
- 24/7 access to course materials
Enter Leadership Roles
If you are a nurse who likes to take charge and make a difference, obtaining an MSN degree could put you at the forefront of securing leadership and managerial positions within the nursing world. To stand out from the crowd, it’s crucial that you possess the key traits needed to succeed in leadership, such as:
- Ability to delegate
- Positive attitude
- Passion and commitment to the role
- Sense of humor
Throughout your MSN degree, you will be taught a range of management strategies and advanced clinical skills that can be highly useful when it comes to supervising employees. Many MSN degree holders go on to run departments and lead nursing teams.
Even if you have your heart set on obtaining an MSN degree, having the finances to fund the course may be what’s stopping you from fulfilling your dream. While obtaining an MSN degree will be a large financial commitment, you may not be aware of the options you have available which can keep costs down. You may be able to transfer credits, or complete the course in a shorter period of time, as well as apply for grants and scholarships.
Expand Your Professional Network
Throughout an MSN degree, you will have the opportunity to engage with your peers, professors, and key figures in the nursing sector. The more connections you make throughout your studies, the better chance you have of securing a new job. During your learning, you may discover a field that sparks your interest, which can lead to you completing a doctoral program.
Expand Your Knowledge Base
No matter what career path you plan to go down after completing an MSN degree, it’s important that you develop key skills and traits that are needed in any aspect of nursing. Developing a deep knowledge of the field you’re interested in can help you feel more confident and prepared when it comes to applying for roles. Also, you will learn time management skills when completing coursework which can be adapted into the workplace.
It goes without saying, the more experience and credentials you have, the more responsibility and power you will have in the nursing sector. Many nurses like to have a high degree of responsibility after completing an MSN degree, with many highly skilled and experienced nursing having the opportunity to oversee the overall functioning of a facility or department. No matter the field you’d like to go down, being in charge can be challenging, so you will need to learn how to work well under pressure.
If you’re interested in applying for leadership and management positions within the nursing sector, obtaining an MSN degree can help employers take you more seriously, as well as equip you with all the necessary traits and soft skills needed to succeed. Regardless of your career plans, make sure that you look into course specifications and entry requirements before signing up to ensure you’ve made the right decision.