Master’s in Nursing Programs for Rewarding Careers in Nursing
That nursing is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers is now an undisputed fact. Thanks
to the aging Baby Boomers, older nurses nearing retiring age, and a severe shortfall in the
number of trained nurses, Registered Nurses or RNs are among the most in demand healthcare
With an excellent job outlook that predicts 581,500 new jobs by 2018, many young people are
gravitating toward this profession, and a lot of them make their entry with the basic, minimum
qualification of a nursing diploma or an Associate’s degree in nursing. (Bureau of Labor Statistics,
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Registered Nurses)
For them and many other Registered Nurses who begin their career at lower rungs of an
organization’s hierarchy, it’s important to know that there is a whole world of advancement
opportunities waiting to be explored if they just push the envelope a little. Once they have a
strong footing in their present positions, all it will take is an advanced degree in nursing to set
their careers soaring.
There are three Master’s in Nursing programs that can help Registered Nurses reach the high
echelons of a healthcare establishment. You can choose one depending on where your interest
and abilities rest.
Master of Science in Nursing: This program is best suited for RNs who want to remain in
clinical care. With a Master’s degree, RNs can move up to senior positions in a healthcare
department that may involve leading a team of staff nurses.
A Master’s in Nursing degree is also the minimum credential if an RN wants to move from basic
nursing practice to advanced practice roles. Referred to as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
(APRN), they can choose from four specialization areas – clinical nurse specialists, nurse
anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners.
A Master’s degree is essential if RNs are to make clinical decisions on their own, which many of
the senior-level nurses and advanced practice nurses are required to do as part of their jobs.
Master’s in Nursing Administration: This Master’s in Nursing program is for RNs who are
interested in moving to management and administrative roles within a healthcare unit. The
program prepares Registered Nurses to manage personnel as well as the healthcare delivery
system in a particular unit.
For administrative and management-level roles, RNs need to demonstrate excellent
communication and negotiation skills, leadership qualities, and good judgment apart from sound
RNs in management roles can reach the levels of assistant director, director, vice president, or
chief of nursing.
Master of Science in Nursing Education: The nursing education degree is meant for
Registered Nurses who want to become nurse educators and teach other RNs and Licensed
Practical Nurses (LPNs) at various levels.
A Master’s in Nursing Education is required to teach Bachelor-level courses, while a doctoral
degree is considered mandatory for teaching Master’s-level courses in nursing.
Besides teaching, the other important duties of a nurse educator include designing and
implementing the course curriculum, assessing students’ progress, and mentoring and preparing
them for practice.
All three Master’s in Nursing programs can pave the way for rapid career mobility and a promising
future for Registered Nurses. If you want to give your nursing career a thrust, choose one of
these three graduate programs now!