How the Afordable Care Act will affect your Nursing Degree

A Masters in Nursing, or as it is commonly known, Master of Science in Nursing is a promising career path for those seeking to further their nursing knowledge and advance their nursing career. MSN degree programs are offered by many graduate level institutions. Generally, these programs are intended for nursing students who already have a Bachelor Degree in Nursing, but the prerequisites can vary widely depending on the school. There are also 2-in-1 bridge programs which allow an RN with an associate degree to receive his or her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters of Science in Nursing in a single program. There are even some Generic Master Degree in Nursing programs intended for students with unrelated bachelor degrees. These programs simultaneously help the student attain the Registered Nurse license and their MSN. Regardless of your background, there is a master’s in nursing program to fit to your needs.

What are the Benefits?

Masters in Nursing Degree
MSN programs generally take only 2 years to complete, but the results can advance your career exponentially. Masters in Nursing tend to enjoy greater job security, benefits, and salary. They consistently report a higher rate of job satisfaction. A Master of Science in Nursing will often remove the nurse from direct care of patients and will place her or him in a more managerial role. The vast majority of MSN degree program participants are Registered Nurses. Many will have several years of nursing experience under their belts. The curriculum in nursing programs around the country will vary, but there will be overlap in some of the core classes. An MSN opens up a wide range of possible concentrations in the medical field, including nursing education, advanced clinical practice, research, nurse consultant, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and healthcare business management. You will need to carefully choose the program that facilitates your needs, especially if you have a specific career path in mind. Make sure your nursing school offers a program that aligns with your needs with our School Finder on the right hand side.

How Much Can You Expect to Make?

cna-new-york-cityThere is no easy way to tell how much a nurse will make because there are too many factors. Your specialization, hours, ward, and location all have a substantial impact on your potential salary outcomes. Nurses often work on call and this sacrifice can be compensated for in different ways. Overtime is handled using a variety of payment schemes. Some pay a high hourly rate while others will compensate by granting more time off or additional vacation days. Sometimes, rates are conditional and may depend on the number of beds the nurse is servicing. Keeping this in mind, the following are some estimates. MSN nurses can specialize in clinical nursing, midwifery, nurse practitioner, and nurse anesthetist. If you choose clinical nursing, you can expect a salary of $73,350 a year after 5 years. A typical midwife with similar experience can earn $81,000 a year and as much as $87,100 with the right circumstances, while a nurse practitioner can expect about $80,000. A nurse anesthetist is capable of bringing home as much as $127,000 while one who has advanced to chief nurse anesthetist can earn $157,000. A Masters Degree in Nursing with any specialization also opens the possibility of becoming head of nursing. The position requires about 15 years of experience, but can pay up to $163,000. It is important to reiterate that the stated figures are mere estimates and represent average data taken from surveys.

Requirements for a Masters Degree in Nursing

Getting your Masters in Nursing is a big step that will open up a wide range of options in your career. If you have the opportunity, pursuing this degree is a worthwhile endeavor that you are not likely to regret. However, this graduate degree is not available to everyone. There are certain requirements and prerequisites you must meet in order to be considered for Masters Degree candidacy. First, you need to already have a Bachelor degree in nursing, which you earned from a nursing program that is accredited nationally. If you have such a degree, but from a program that was not nationally accredited, you will need to take a GRE to verify that your verbal, written, and quantitative skills are satisfactory. You must also have a GPA of 3.0 or higher from your undergraduate courses. If your GPA was lower than a 3.0, you will generally not be considered for a Masters in Nursing at all. A minimum of three positive letters of reference from your former professors and employers from relevant fields will be required as part of your application. As with almost any degree application, you will of course have to include your resume and a well written personal statement detailing your career goals and the events in your life that led you to the point at which you decided to pursue this degree. In some cases, exceptions are made for those who don’t meet the minimum requirements. Although this is rare, you may still have a chance if you fall short on one or more of these prerequisites. In most cases, you will need to have at least five years of relevant, practical experience in order to increase your chances of being accepted to a Masters in Nursing program.

If you are willing to put in the time and effort to significantly advance your career, a Masters in Nursing degree is an excellent way to do just that. The opportunities that will become available to you once you have your degree are well worth the effort, and they will stay with you for the rest of your life – long after you obtain your degree. In addition to the benefits or a more flexible and thrilling career, you will be awarded a much higher salary, with opportunities for advancement over time. Above all, your biggest reward will be self confidence and respect. Knowing that you are capable of accomplishing anything you wish to pursue, no matter how difficult, is an empowering feeling that will contribute positively to your life even in areas outside your career.

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