What Are the Advantages Of An MSN?
There’s little doubt that healthcare in the 21st century is complex and requiring more from healthcare professionals than ever before. Quality patient care requires nurses to be knowledgeable in a myriad of information, from basic care to evidence-based practices. While experience goes a long way in improving your skills as a nurse, there is something to be said for advancing your education. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine recommended that nurses have a minimum of a BSN for entry level positions.
Colleges and universities are now offering online degree programs which allow nurses without a BSN to obtain one; and, many schools are now offering the ability for ADN or Registered Nurses to achieve their BSN and MSN at the same time. This allows nurses currently working to gain a higher degree in less time and at less cost than the traditional four-year BSN and two-year MSN programs.
Nurses who have an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or diploma RNs can have very successful and satisfying careers. However, it can’t be overlooked that those who continue their education and receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) are able to move into better paying positions, assist in policy making and move into leadership roles.
Nurses seeking a RN to MSN degree will find programs will offer specialty studies such as Family Nurse Practitioner, Educators, Clinical Nurse Leaders, etc. Additionally, MSN nurses are able to further pursue certification in areas such as pediatrics, oncology, gerontology or anesthesiology.
There is great demand for nurses with advanced training and education. With more patients accessing healthcare (think Baby Boomers), nursing with advanced practice degrees are needed to fill practice gaps due to the shortage of general practice physicians. Currently, 28 states are considering legislation which will allow advanced practice nurses to assume greater practice roles in their communities.
One of the causes of the nursing shortage in the United States is the lack of nurse educators. Students who obtain a MSN may find positions in colleges and universities’ nursing schools to train the future nurses. The American Accreditation Council of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) reports schools of nursing have been forced to turn away up over 60,000 students due to the lack of nurse educators to teach them.
Never has it been more convenient to advance your degree than now. To address the nursing shortage, nursing schools and colleges are providing accredited, online programs which allow the ADN or RN to obtain a MSN while continuing to work. Schools have combined undergraduate and graduate curricula to allow students to receive a degree in half the time of a conventional course of study. Many schools, additionally, provide academic credit for work experience.
These are just some of the benefits of enrolling in a RN to MSN degree program. No doubt, you’ll be able to see many more.