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What is the value of a master’s degree in nursing? While this type of degree might not be required for nurses, having an advanced degree can open many doors and provide important benefits. If you’re considering earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) online, you should consider the advantages that this advanced degree offers. The following are some of the benefits of an online master’s degree in nursing.

Higher Pay

When you hold an MSN, you can expect to earn a higher salary in the nursing field. For comparison, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median salary for registered nurses is $75,330 per year. This can range from $53,410 at the lower end to over $116, 230 at the higher end. Having an advanced degree is one of the factors that can lead to increased pay compared to working as a nurse with a bachelor’s degree. Your salary might also be higher with an MSN in certain settings, such as hospitals and ambulatory healthcare services.

Career Advancement

Earning an MSN degree allows you to advance your nursing career, resulting in a more rewarding job experience. With an advanced position, you’ll also be more likely to increase your job earnings. For example, you might earn an MSN degree to become an advanced nurse practitioner. This comes with an increase in responsibilities, as well as higher pay in many cases. Advancing your career can also give you a chance to put your leadership skills to use, depending on the type of position you’re interested in pursuing.

More Responsibility

Becoming a nurse with an advanced degree will allow you to take on additional responsibilities. Nurses with an MSN are trained to handle more responsibilities than nurses without an advanced degree. These added responsibilities can make an MSN nursing career more challenging, yet more fulfilling, overall. Having these additional responsibilities also usually leads to higher pay and more opportunities to put the skills you’ve learned in your online degree program to use on a regular basis.

Better Schedule

Working as a nurse often means long shifts and having to be available to work on nights, weekends, and holidays. When you earn your MSN online, you’ll have the option to take on senior-level position that typically comes with more traditional work hours. For example, you might work as a nurse educator, which usually involves working normal weekday hours. This can free up your time and make it easier to spend time with loved ones or schedule plans in your personal life.

Specialization Options

An MSN degree program provides you with the opportunity to select a specialization so that you can focus on learning the skills needed for your career. While specialization options can differ by school, examples include nursing informatics, infection prevention and control, family nurse practitioner, nursing management and organizational leadership, nursing education, and adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner. You can look for a program that offers a specialization option that matches your career interests. These customized options can better prepare you for the career you want.

Increase Your Skillset

Undergraduate degree programs provide you with a number of skills needed for nursing, but you can gain even more with an advanced degree. Earning your MSN degree online means you’ll be learning new skills that you’ll need for career advancement. For example, you might develop leadership skills that allow you to work in nursing management. If you choose a specialization, you’ll learn even more.

Flexibility

When you choose to earn an online MSN degree, you’ll have a high degree of flexibility. Online degree programs often feature more manageable schedules, allowing for a better fit with your work and family responsibilities. You’ll also be able to study from the comfort of your home, which can help you focus better on the material you’re learning. Plus, with an online degree program, you don’t have to factor in commute times, leaving you with more time to study.

Expand Your Network

An MSN degree program gives you a chance to meet healthcare professionals in the industry. While you might have been able to do this as an undergrad, an advanced degree program expands these opportunities with like-minded professionals. During your MSN program, you should keep track of networking opportunities, such as nursing or healthcare conferences. These events can introduce you to healthcare managers, executives, physicians, nurses, and other professionals. In addition to learning more about different healthcare environments and organizations, you might also increase your chance of being offered job opportunities.

New Career Opportunities

Being a nurse with an MSN degree can provide you with new career paths and opportunities to explore. In some cases, these opportunities might be less traditional than working in a hospital or other healthcare setting. For example, you might be able to find a job working with a non-profit organization that provides healthcare services in other countries. This could open up opportunities to work around the world helping those in need. You’ll also find several other career paths to consider when you have an advanced degree.

Fill a Need

The U.S. is experiencing a shortage in both physicians and nurses, increasing the demand for nurses with advanced degrees. These nurses can provide some of the services that physicians usually offer, as well as regular nursing care. Earning a master’s degree in nursing means you can help ensure that patients receive proper care. With an advanced degree, you can step in where needed to provide critical healthcare services in settings or areas lacking a sufficient number of nurses or physicians.

If you’re exploring your options for online MSN programs, please contact American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Science at Post University. Our school offers an MSN degree online with specialty options, including case management, nursing education, and family nurse practitioner, so you can build the nursing career you want.

 

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Please note jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions representative.