Nursing is a fantastic career. It allows you to work directly with people, or indirectly by creating programs that will help them achieve longer lives in good health. The demand for nurses has always been consistently strong, and the predicted growth is significant and well above the national average both in terms of the number of jobs and salary expectations. There are numerous ways to become active in the field of nursing, one of which is to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) bridge degree.
Let’s take a look at 25 best reasons for getting that MSN degree:
1. Specialization – Once you hold a MSN degree, you can specialize in certain interesting fields of nursing. You may, for instance, be interested in mental health care, pediatric care, oncology or any other specific field. Only with an MSN degree can you have true specialization.
2. Better Job Prospects – Once you hold a MSN degree, there are far more career opportunities open for you. Although job prospects are good for all nursing professionals, those with a MSN degree have a greater number of career choices. In fact, only those with a Ph.D. are able to have even more career opportunities.
3. Better Pay – The salary for someone who holds a MSN degreeis also far greater than for someone with a BSN degree. Indeed, top salaries are in the region of $96,735, which is well above the median earnings of a regular nurse. Furthermore, growth in the number of jobs in these fields is expected to be much higher as well. Although salary should not be your driving factor in choosing any job, the reality is that it is very important. Furthermore, although a MSN degree is costly to obtain, you will be able to earn those expenses back reasonably rapidly thanks to better job prospects.
4. You Can Teach Nursing – Once you hold a MSN degree, you can also choose to become a nurse educator. This means you will become a mentor and educator for other people who are looking at getting started in the field of nursing. Being able to play such a vital role in the continuous care of entire global communities is something that most people can only dream of. Since people enter the field of nursing because they want to make a real difference, having a MSN degree will truly help you to achieve those goals.
5. Working Towards a Doctorate Degree – If you truly want to become one of the best in the field of nursing, you will need to study towards a doctorate degree and achieve your Ph.D. This is possible if you already hold a MSN degree. All nurses have to be committed to their continuous professional education. This does not necessarily mean that all of them have to study towards a Ph.D., but most choose to obtain a doctorate degree, eventually. By holding a MSN degree, you are one step closer towards that goal. Once you hold a Ph.D., you will be a true expert in your field, and you will be able to do important research or teach at the university level, going above and beyond the mentoring role you could otherwise occupy.
6. Career Advancement – Once you hold a MSN degree, there will be far more career advancement opportunities out there for you as well. You could become a coordinator or a manager, for instance. This is because any good MSN program includes courses in advanced communication and advanced leadership. This also means you will be at the forefront of important decisions in health care policy development.
7. Meeting Licensing Laws – It is believed that licensing laws for nurses will become increasingly stringent as the field develops. Although you can currently become a registered nurse with a BSN degree and maintain your license through professional education, it is believed that it will soon be required to work towards a MSN degree in order to retain that license. Hence, if you have the opportunity to get your MSN degree now, it would be advisable to do so.
8. You Can Study Online – Many MSN programs are now offered completely online. This means there is no need for you to stop working and give up on a lucrative career in order to further your education. Rather, you can keep up your current work and family commitments while gaining more education at the same time. It is important to realize, however, that taking part in online studies does take a lot of dedication.
9. There Are Accelerated Programs – If you are able and willing to study around the clock, you can choose to take part in accelerated programs. This means that you will learn up to two years worth of information in a single year. This will place you under a lot of pressure, but it also means you can get started in your chosen field quicker, and earn back the money you have spent on your education in a much shorter period of time.
10. BSN to MSN Transitions Are Becoming Easier – Additionally, if you already hold a BSN degree, it is becoming increasingly easier to work towards a MSN degree. Several years ago, it would take another three to four years of study, but it is now possible to complete the trajectory in as little as one and a half to two years. Furthermore, you can bring transferable credits with you, which will help keep the cost of your study down.
11. Personal Satisfaction – Furthermore, it must be said that if you hold a MSN degree, you can have the personal satisfaction of knowing that you have studied hard to be the best you can be. Recognizing your own abilities allows you to have a more positive attitude about yourself. This, in turn, gives you better prospects as it is always easier to recognize someone who has confidence in their own abilities, and they tend to get more promotions.
12. It Allows for a Longer Career – Being a registered nurse means that you have to work in practical settings such as hospital wards and other health care situations. This involves long hours of standing on your feet and many RNs develop a number of back and leg problems and find it increasingly difficult to hold on to their career as they age. By obtaining a MSN degree, however, you would be able to move to a more administrative role as you get older, which means you can continue to work in the field of nursing for a longer time.
13. Increased Autonomy – By holding a MSN degree, you have demonstrated that you can work with much less supervision than a regular RN can. You will not have to ask permission to do things all the time anymore, nor will you have your decisions questioned at every point. Of course, you will still work for someone, but your degree indicates that you are capable of making important health care decisions by yourself.
14. More Flexibility at Work – MSN degree holders tend to also be able to work under more flexible schedules. Most registered nurses have to work shifts, and these can be long and grueling. As someone with a MSN, however, it is much easier to request normal hours. Furthermore, as you are likely to earn more as well, you could even choose to work less hours and spend more time with your family.
15. Flexible Start Dates – Because more and more MSN programs are now offered online (although not all), they also offer very flexible start dates. Even schools that still offer traditional classroom based learning often have two or three different starts dates. Don’t assume, however, that you can start on any date you would like.
16. Manageable Costs – It is certainly true that obtaining a MSN degree requires a substantial financial investment. However, there are often a lot of credits you can transfer, depending on your previous degree and work experience, which will bring the cost down. Furthermore, you are likely to get a discount if you are in the armed forces and many universities have scholarships, bursaries and grants that you can apply for.
17. More Professional Contacts – The university you choose to study with will have excellent contacts in the field of nursing. By completing your degree, you can build on those contacts yourself. This means that you will have a greater professional network around you.
18. Quicker Career Advancement – Although being an RN is rewarding due to the variety of work that need to be done, it often doesn’t allow for any progression. Once you reach the RN level, you can only progress by obtaining your MSN. Once you have a MSN degree, however, you can progress through continuous professional education and experience.
19. Interesting Bonuses – Some employers currently offer bonuses to those RNs who decide to go for their MSN degree and complete it. Stipulations may exist, such as needing to stay with the same employer for a number of years. However, this is a great way to offset the cost of the degree somewhat.
20. Becoming a Real Nurse – We live in a world where our profession is what allows us to live. However, when it comes to nursing, most will tell you that they feel the profession is their calling and that they would do it regardless of the salary and working conditions. If you feel like that yourself, then you will probably feel like you have to complete your MSN degree, as it is all part of becoming a real nurse, someone who’s calling it is to look after others.
21. Shape the Future of Health Care – As someone with a MSN degree, your role will be as much about delivering care as it is about molding health policies and best practices. This means you can really play a role on how people are treated in hospitals and how their medical care is designed. This is incredibly satisfying for those who consider nursing to be their calling.
22. You Will Know More – Obviously, because the degree is more advanced, your knowledge will be more advanced as well. Life is one big learning journey, however, which means that obtaining your MSN degree is just the next step on that journey. Nevertheless, it is a big step and a huge leap in the amount of knowledge that you have.
23. Learn From the Best – When you study towards your MSN degree, you learn from the best. You will learn from people who were once like you. They are amazing role models and will inspire you to do more with your career.
24. You Can Go Into Management – If you are interested in becoming a manager, you will also need a MSN degree. This will allow you to do even more with the knowledge that you have gained during your studies. Management isn’t a goal for everybody, but having a MSN degree is usually a requirement if you want to get into management.
25. You Will Become a Role Model – Just as you will learn from the best, you will become one of them once you have completed your MSN degree. You will become a true role model for others, in other words. This is a great responsibility, but one you should be ready to carry after completing your degree.