In today’s job market, a bachelor’s degree won’t cut it. Sure, it’s possible to get a job–especially in nursing where demand is always high. But what do you get with that degree?
You get long shifts, low wages, condescending doctors, and no say in how healthcare is dispensed–despite being the primary dispensary. I know it’s your passion. You’d be a nurse regardless of wages or long hours.
But what if you could work smarter and not harder? What if you got your Master’s?
But maybe you don’t have the time. Maybe you don’t have the money. Maybe you don’t think it’s worth it.
Well, it is. And I can give you eight reasons why.
Getting an MSN, a Master’s of Science in Nursing, used to be difficult. It took three to four years, cost a small fortune, and took you away from work. Nowadays, that’s not the case.
Many MSN programs are now online, allowing you to keep working. You can complete many of them in eighteen months to two years. Some even have accelerated programs you can finish in a year.
An MSN is still expensive; I won’t deny that, but there are ways to reduce costs. Transferable credits from previous studies will limit the number of classes you have to take. You can also get discounts if you’re a veteran, and you can apply for scholarships or grants offered by the university.
What’s better than making more money? Top earners with an MSN bring in around $96,000, depending on their role and region.
Compare that to the average RN salary, around $67,000, and the difference is noticeable. Money may not buy happiness, but it helps, especially if you have a family. Plus, you can recoup the cost of getting your MSN in the first place.
Better Career Options
Let’s face it, BSN nurses have a ceiling. Yes, they dabble in all areas of medicine, but they don’t have many advancement options. When not with patients, they spend their time managing stress or avoiding burnout.
An MSN nurse, however, has a better chance of upward mobility. Like a doctor, an MSN nurse can specialize in a field of interest, such as mental health or family practitioner.
Nurses with an MSN can also get into management. You can set schedules, your own plus the nurses who work for you and shape hospital policy. You can even teach nursing if you wanted.
A nursing shift takes a lot out of you. There’s the typical eight hour day plus overtime or even volunteer hours. At the end of it all, you’re wiped out.
Then the next day comes, and you have to do it all over again. An MSN nurse can get a little more flexibility. There are no guarantees, of course.
Who knows, you may even like the long hours. They will certainly make you better at your job.
But if you wanted to take a vacation, spend more time with family, you’ll have an easier time getting that time as an MSN.
There’s nothing worse than having some doctor breathing down your neck, trying to tell you how to do your job. No one likes being micromanaged.
Yes, you’ll still have a boss, but your advanced degree will allow you more independence. You can make health care decisions on your own. Plus, you won’t have someone questioning your choices at every turn.
An advanced degree makes you smarter. Period. You learn more about your field, and you get better at what you do.
You can make more informed decisions, educate others, and be a better nurse. You get the personal satisfaction of working hard for something worthwhile.
The Chance to Shape Healthcare Policy
An MSN gives you a wider range of responsibilities. Your role will be about the quality of healthcare delivery rather than the actual delivery itself.
You can implement new policies and procedures based on your knowledge. You can design a patient’s medical care and see how they’re treated at the hospital. You can have your hand on the wheel of your industry’s future.
The Chance to Be a Doctor…of Nursing
True, it’s not the same as an MD, but a Ph.D. will make you a doctor. You’d have to go to school again and a Nursing Ph.D. is research focused.
But it comes with its own benefits. As a Ph.D. you are recognized as an expert in your field. You have greater control over healthcare policy and even more opportunities to advance your career.
You can even start a practice. But you can’t get to that step without obtaining a master’s degree.
Where Can You Get Started on Your Master’s?
Let’s recap. A master’s in nursing will get you a higher paycheck, better hours, more autonomy, more knowledge, an upward trajectory, and the chance to go even higher with a doctorate. Plus, it’ll put you at the forefront of your field.
I think the only question now is where do you sign up? There are hundreds of universities offering master’s programs.
Some offer specialty training. Some don’t have online programs. How do you choose?
Let us help you. At ICU Nurse we have everything you need to advance your career. From articles that help you get through the day to a list of the best MSN program schools, we’ve got it all.
Log on to our site today. We can’t wait to help you become a better nurse.