A master’s degree in nursing may lead to a profitable, in-demand employment that pays three times the national average. Nursing master’s degrees may lead to a number of career opportunities, with graduates working as nurse practitioners (NPs), nurse researchers, nurse administrators, and even nurse educators. One can make their career through online degree programs.

Master of Science in Nursing Specializations

There are several opportunities accessible to nurses who want to become MSNs. Master of science in nursing programs are classified into two types: general MSN programs and specialty MSN programs.

General MSN programs prepare graduates to work as nurse educators, nurse researchers, nurse administrators, and other positions. There are four types of specialty advanced practice RN (APRN) programs: certified nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and certified nurse midwife (CNM).

Nurse practitioner specialty are further subdivided into practice areas, such as pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, women’s health nurse practitioner, and others.

Before enrolling in a specialized MSN program, you must decide which professional path you want to follow because each MSN degree has different time commitments and graduation requirements. Many factors influence completion time, including the kind of program (e.g., accelerated programs), the student’s time commitment (part-time versus full-time), and whether you choose a regular MSN degree or an advanced practice certification.

Some nurses prefer to pursue a standard MSN degree first, then return to finish the component of an MSN specialty program leading to APRN certification.

Licensed Practical Nurse

MSN programs in nurse practitioner equip students for jobs as APRNs. Graduates of these schools are eligible to take the national board certification exam. Adult-gerontology, family practice, women’s health, mental health, and many more fields of practice are available to NPs.

Clinical tasks of a nurse practitioner include health promotion and disease prevention. They can do many of the same tasks as physicians, including as ordering lab tests and administering medication, depending on the state. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an NP earns an average yearly pay of $118,040. (BLS).

Specialist in Clinical Nursing

A clinical nurse specialist program will prepare graduates for a career as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with additional training in a specific clinical field of nursing practice, such as pediatrics, family care, and mental health. According to Payscale, the average CNS pay in October 2022 is $94,390 per year.

They, like NPs, specialize in the patient groups with whom they work. The distinction is that, rather than focusing on direct patient treatment, a CNS concentrates on research and education, as well as being up to speed on the most recent clinical research findings.

They train nursing personnel on how to improve patient outcomes, instruct patients, and use evidence-based practice in nursing care. There are several online clinical nurse specialist programs available, just like there are many APRN programs; they take around two years to finish.

Midwifery Certification

The certified nurse midwifery program focuses on personalized care and wellbeing before, during, and after childbirth. The average yearly pay for a certified nurse midwife is $114,210, according to the BLS.

A CNM must pass the American Midwifery Certification Board’s nurse midwife certification test after finishing an authorized MSN program (AMCB). The number of recognized accredited MSN programs, including online nurse-midwife programs, is restricted.

Depending on state restrictions, a CNM may operate alone or under the supervision of a physician. The majority of CNMs work in hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, or private birthing centers. A CNM’s responsibilities include assisting parents and pregnant women in creating a birth plan, providing prenatal and postnatal exams, and prescribing prescriptions.

The State of Public Health

MSN programs in public health equip graduates for a career teaching individuals at high risk of health issues, concentrating on long-term health and wellbeing, and enhancing community access to healthcare. They frequently work with low-income, disadvantaged, and underrepresented groups.

Public health nurses may do health checks in community health centers or have a broader area of practice. They could create health education and disease prevention programs, for example, for other healthcare professionals to use in their areas.

A public health nursing MSN degree program includes online degree programs courses such as an introduction of global health challenges, health outcome evaluation, research methodologies and biostatistics, and advanced nursing practice in population health. A public health nurse earns an average hourly rate of $29.40 per hour, according to Payscale in October 2022; annual income varies from $48,000 to $94,000.

Nursing Training

Nursing education MSN programs equip graduates for jobs as instructors, mentors, and guides in nursing education.

They assist other nurses in implementing optimal practices in nursing care. Nurse educators use their clinical expertise as well as their understanding of evidence-based practice to teach both new and seasoned nurses. They also provide professional development courses.

Nurse educators educate in a variety of venues, such as healthcare companies, universities and colleges, and health system organizations.

According to Payscale, the average yearly income for nurse educators is $79,120 as of October 2022. Face-to-face, hybrid, and online nurse educator programs are all offered.

Depending on their existing level of education, nurses pursuing a graduate degree in nursing can choose from a variety of MSN programs. Online degree programs can also be a profitable degree. A bachelor to master’s degree program, an MSN bridging program, a direct-entry master’s degree, and a dual master’s degree are among them.

Once you’ve decided on the finest MSN program for you, you may choose from a variety of specialties to get your graduate degree and tracks based on your desired career position, nursing profession, and specialism. If the amount of options available overwhelms you, restrict your list of potential MSN programs and speak with an adviser at each school to assist you pick the MSN path that is suitable for you.

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