You may wonder why you need a master’s degree in nursing. After all, you are pretty much exactly where you want to be. Choosing a career in nursing has proven rewarding and ideally suited for you. And besides that why would you want to add even more school to your life when you still have flashbacks of the stress, sleepless nights spent studying, and all the hard work of nursing school?
There are, perhaps, an endless number of reasons why you should go ahead and pursue that master’s degree in nursing. The investment in time certainly is a consideration, however, it won’t be anything like your initial experience in getting your BSN. You’ve amassed so much knowledge simply being on the job. The coursework shouldn’t be as desperately draining as your days earning your BSN/RN.
The opportunity for advancement in your career will offset any financial investment you make. With a master’s degree in nursing the door is open to you to pursue leadership roles such as nurse manager, or coordinator. Your salary will increase and your investment in your advanced degree will pay for itself in short order.
Choices in Advancing Your Degree
There are plenty of opportunities to accelerate in your pursuit of your master’s degree in nursing. Online campuses and classes made to fit into any uses schedule are available through almost all colleges and universities which offer a master’s program in nursing. The instructors are nurses themselves and understand-and respect-where you’re coming from as a working nurse. Here are a few more reasons why you need a master’s degree in nursing:
Specialization: With an advanced degree you’re even more specialized in your field of study. You may opt to focus your studies on a specialization in which you feel particularly drawn. As the baby boomer generation ages out the need for more advanced degrees in the specialization of geriatrics is becoming dire. Those who feel especially drawn to pediatrics, oncology, infectious diseases, mental health, and many other growing specializations ghouls absolutely consider obtaining a master’s degree in nursing.
Qualified to Teach: Earning your master’s degree in nursing is a great way to move into a teaching position. Your MSN combined with your work experience and the fact that you understand what many of the students will encounter in nursing school and beyond make you the ideal nurse educator. Even if you aren’t planning to move into a teaching position right away, your master’s degree will make you a better mentor to the newer nurses with whom you work. And having your MSN enables you to move into teaching when you begin to notice signs of burnout.
Readies You for The Future: As healthcare becomes more and more specialized your role as a nurse will become more important. The licensing laws may become more stringent at any time, requiring you to increase your knowledge of medicine and your particular specialization. By obtaining your MSN you’ll be a step ahead of these potentially imminent changes in licensing.
Freedom and Flexibility: For a those who hold a master’s degree in nursing the freedom to make decisions, within reason, for patient care is questioned much less than those decisions made by an RN or BSN. Your degree elevates your status as one who is better able to make informed and knowledgeable decisions, be it for staff or patients. The flexibility that comes with holding a master’s in nursing means your position allows for the possibility of more “regular” hours instead of those gruelling 12-hour shifts.
Opens You to a Greater Professional Network: In nursing, as in any career, the advantages come from “who you know”. Better job opportunities and more influence are just a few perks of increasing your professional network. The university or college where you choose to complete your degree can put you in touch with alumni and professional mentors who can help you advance in your field. Professional organizations typically partner with universities which also enhance your resume and nurse portfolio.
Help Shape the Future of Healthcare: As someone with an advanced degree in a specialized field of nursing, you are referenced as authority. Because of your newfound status you are able to have a voice in shaping the future of healthcare in this country, and the world, if you so choose. Even in your own community you will be respected and sought out for your opinions, knowledge and experience. Your newfound “clout” can help your own patients and future patients in your healthcare facility and beyond.
Get That Degree!
These are just a few of the reasons you need a master’s degree in nursing. If you are a nurse who gets more out of your career than you put in, and you enjoy helping new nurses get established, while providing care to those who need it most, consider obtaining your master’s in nursing.
Seek out those in possession of a MSN and with whom you share a relationship. Ask their advice. Talk to your local university and find out your options. No one has ever regretted advancing in their career, obtaining greater knowledge, and earning the ability to have a voice in the future of healthcare. Go for it!