Certainly! There are several specialty areas available for nurses entering a RN to MSN degree, from clinical specialties to technology and data management. Perhaps, the most prevalent specialties are Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator, Nursing Informatics, etc.
In order to provide increased accessibility to healthcare services, more and more states are beginning to pass legislation allowing Nurse Practitioners broader practice capabilities. As a result, universities and colleges are providing a wide range of Nurse Practitioner degrees to include family practice, adult-gerontology, pediatric and midwifery specialties.
Clinical Nurse Leader
Clinical Nurse Leaders hold the responsibility for assuring quality patient care by coordinating patient care, implementing policies and procedures, supervision and care design.
This management position requires the recruitment, hiring and retention of nurses, as well as the development of budgets, administration and quality assurance of patient care. Nurse Administrators, besides overseeing a hospital or health systems nursing staff, frequently serve as liaisons between departments.
This is an interesting specialty in that students may be able to help address the nursing shortage in the U.S. Last year, it’s estimated, over 61,000 students were denied admission to nursing programs because of the lack of instructors. Colleges and universities frequently hire MSN Nurse Educator prepared graduates to teach undergraduate nursing courses. Clinical Nurse Educators are hired by hospitals and health systems to provide in-house, specific clinical training and continuing education programs in order to retain nursing staff.
Healthcare technology is critical in today’s approach to patient care. Specialists in nursing informatics serve as a bridge between patient care, evidence based practices and data management. By tracking data, nursing informatics specialists are able to provide clinicians information which leads to quality patient care.
Public Health Nursing
These nurses work in communities to identify and educate people on public health issues. Public Health nurses may be responsible for improving public health through education, immunization programs, health screenings, disease prevention and social aspects of community health care.
While this is not an exhaustive list of specialty areas available for RNs and ADNs pursuing a MSN, it represents the type of career opportunities nurses may explore with a masters degree.
Best Medical Degrees has developed a ranking of 30 Most Affordable Online RN to MSN Degree Programs. There are numerous advantages to online RN to MSN programs, the least of which, these programs allow nurses to continue to work as they continue their education.
The ranking mentioned above provides information on Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited colleges and universities, length of programs, estimated tuition costs, sample curriculum, MSN specialties provided and rankings and ratings the programs may have received from U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review or Forbes Magazine.
Furthering your education will not only help you to advance in your career, earn more money and assume greater responsibility; it will also improve your clinical skills and help you provide better patient care.