However, to qualify for better paying and more advanced nursing jobs, a graduate nursing degree may be required. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) allows specialization in many branches of nursing such as pediatrics, oncology, midwifery, etc. You may be wondering whether the time and money invested are worth it or not. According to The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners is expected to grow by 31% from 2012-2022, which is faster than average. To qualify for any of these nursing roles, getting a master’s degree is a must.
Advantages of getting enrolled into an ADN to MSN program
If you are a registered nurse and wish to pursue a master’s degree without having to first enroll in a bachelor’s program, you can opt for an ADN to MSN bridge program. Enrolling in this program can be advantageous in the following ways:
In an MSN program, you can specialize in any nursing field that suits your interest. Nursing has many branches you can choose from. For example, if you enjoy working with children, you can pursue pediatric nursing as your specialty.
Become more knowledgeable
A graduate degree in nursing will provide you with advanced knowledge of nursing and also polish your skill set. The field of medicine is advancing at a rapid rate due to constant research and discovery of new treatments. To become more competent, it is important that you have knowledge of the latest developments, medicines, and research. You can become more educated and use your knowledge to perform well as a nurse with the help of an MSN degree.
More career opportunities and better income
By getting an MSN degree, you may qualify for advanced job roles in nursing. MSN degree holders have better job opportunities as compared to basic nurses. You can also look forward to better salary packages. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners made a median annual income of $96,460 in 2012.
Prepare for a doctorate degree
A Doctorate of Nursing (DNP) is the highest level of education you can get in this field. After completing your graduate studies, you are only one step away from doctorate-level education. A master’s level degree in nursing can help you prepare for further advanced education.
Employers are increasingly looking to hire nurses with graduate degrees
As mentioned earlier, the demand for BSN and MSN degree holders is increasing. Employers are in search of nurses who have advanced qualifications and can better cater to the health care needs of patients.
With a master’s degree in nursing and work experience, you may qualify for certification in your area of specialty. Many certifications require nurses to hold at least a bachelor’s or master’s level degree. A certification can also improve your career prospects and income potential.
With an MSN degree, you may qualify to work independently or with minimal supervision as compared to basic RNs. An advanced degree will indicate your competency of making independent decisions.
What will you learn in an ADN to MSN degree?
The program will focus on advanced nursing concepts and practice skills. You will first be required to complete a set of prerequisite courses before moving on to advanced specialization courses. During the program, you will learn about the role of nurses in healthcare, effects of technology in healthcare delivery, and the promotion of health and disease control.
Alongside theoretical studies, you will also be required to complete a certain number of clinical hours in a healthcare setting. The coursework may vary slightly from college to college, but would generally cover courses such as the following:
Advanced health assessment
Advocacy in policy and healthcare organizations
Epidemiology and healthy populations
How long does it take to complete an ADN to MSN degree?
The duration of this bridge program will depend on which school you enroll in and how many credit hours you wish to take in one semester. There are only a limited number of nursing schools offering this program. It may take2-4 years to complete the program.
Can you pursue an ADN to MSN online?
Yes, you can study this program online. Working as a nurse and going to college can be tough. To make education a more flexible and easier pursuit for working individuals, colleges have begun offering bridge programs online. The coursework can be completed online through lectures, slideshows, and videos. Practical coursework will require on campus visits.
What are your job prospects?
The job prospects will greatly depend on your specialization. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists made a median annual income of $153,780 in 2014, whereas nurse practitioners made a median annual income of $95,350 in 2014. Factors such as certification, state, and employer organization will affect your income potential and job prospects.