When you already have the education, licensing, and training needed to become a registered nurse (RN), you might want to enhance your skills as you consider different nursing career paths. As an RN, you already have an advantage in terms of training and education compared to those who are just starting out on the nursing path. Having an MSN degree or higher is often required to advance to nursing leadership positions. When you consider options for earning an MSN, consider earning an RN to MSN online.
RN to MSN Online Program Option Overview
You can explore different paths toward earning an MSN degree. For example, you can participate in an Associate of Science in Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or ASN to BSN, degree, then earn an MSN degree. This path takes several years to complete and can cost a significant amount of money.
An RN to MSN online program provides you with a way to earn your MSN in a shorter amount of time than other paths. This kind of program offers online instruction, which might allow you to complete it at your own pace. When you take this type of program to earn an MSN without a BSN, it is possible to also earn your BSN as part of the program. Knowing more about what you will learn and how you will learn it can help you decide if this educational path is right for you.
What You Could Learn
When you are in an RN to MSN online program, your classes will initially go over material that is typically part of a BSN program, such as nursing research, developing nursing practice, and nursing management strategies. When you are done with these classes, you can then move on to more advanced coursework. Some RN to MSN programs provide different specializations to choose from, such as case management, nursing informatics, nursing management and organizational leadership, nursing education, and infection prevention and control. These specializations include classes that give you more in-depth knowledge of that particular area of nursing.
How You Will Learn
As an online student, you can expect to do your learning in a digital or virtual environment rather than a traditional classroom setting. Instead of going back and forth to a college campus, you can watch online videos or participate in online class discussions right from your home or place of employment. Online RN to MSN programs could make it possible for you to follow a flexible approach to learning that works with your schedule. If you are working as a full-time RN, this can be a major convenience for you.
RN to MSN Career Outlook
What kinds of jobs might you be interested in after earning your MSN degree? With this advanced degree, you can explore several career paths that require advanced knowledge and leadership skills. Some of these careers include clinical nurse leader, nurse educator, director of nursing, nurse manager, and nursing informatics. These kinds of careers tend to have a strong career outlook as the need for nursing leaders increases over the years. For example, while education requirements may vary, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the job outlook for medical and health services managers, including nurse managers, is 28 percent from 2021 through 2031.
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Reasons To Pursue an RN to MSN Online
Why might you consider earning an RN to MSN degree online? Choosing this path toward earning an advanced degree can provide several advantages. The following are some of the top reasons to pursue your RN to MSN degree online.
1. Convenience and Flexibility
Choosing an online degree program to earn your MSN offers a lot of flexibility. You will not have to rearrange your nursing schedule to accommodate classroom times. Instead, you can study and complete classes when it fits your schedule. This degree option also offers considerable convenience. You could earn your advanced degree in a shorter time and at your own pace from the comfort of your home.
2. Specialize in the Area of Nursing that Interests You the Most
What area of nursing do you want to work in? With an RN to MSN online program, you can specialize in an area in which you have a strong interest. For example, you might choose nursing informatics if you have a strong interest in technology. If you prefer educating others, you might choose to specialize in nursing education. These specializations can help you build a career that you love.
3. Gain a Diverse Perspective
Taking an online RN to MSN program means that you could have the opportunity to meet students from other regions. Interacting with these students in your online classes can help you learn more about nursing in other parts of the country or world. This can provide you with a broader, more diverse perspective that could be helpful for a nursing leadership role.
4. Expand Your Scope of Practice
As an RN, your scope of practice could be limited compared to nurses with more education and experience. Earning your MSN degree could help expand your skills and scope of practice, which could provide you with opportunities to handle additional duties and responsibilities. This scope of practice depends in part on the area you choose to specialize in during your MSN program.
5. More Influence and Leadership at Work
Earning an MSN takes a lot of work and effort, but this could pay off in terms of your influence at work and your ability to take on more of a leadership role. With an MSN, you will have had the chance to learn the skills and knowledge that are necessary for being a leader in the nursing field. With this advanced degree, you might be able to have more influence at work.
6. Progress Toward a Doctorate in Nursing
For some advanced nursing positions, you may want to pursue a doctorate in nursing. This advanced degree can lead to even greater job responsibilities in certain careers, such as a nurse manager or nurse practitioner at a hospital or other healthcare facility. Completing an RN to MSN online program may bring you closer to earning a doctorate in nursing, so you can explore these kinds of job and education opportunities.
7. Feeling of Accomplishment
An advanced degree in nursing involves completing a lot of coursework, passing difficult exams, and meeting strict educational requirements. Although this can be challenging at times, earning your MSN degree can provide you with a strong sense of accomplishment. When you have your hard-earned degree, you can be proud of yourself for putting in the time and effort.
8. Opportunities for Networking
Building a professional network is an important part of expanding your career opportunities. Your network might make you aware of upcoming job opportunities in leadership roles or provide you with access to other resources that could help you advance your career. An RN to MSN program can give you many opportunities to network with other nursing students, nurse leaders, and faculty.
9. Potentially Lower Tuition Costs than Traditional On-Campus Programs
Being in a traditional on-campus program to earn your MSN might come with higher tuition costs. While tuition varies across all MSN programs whether on-campus or line, you might have other costs with a campus-based program, such as the cost of transportation to and from school. An online RN to MSN program might help you save money on your nursing education if you select a program with lower tuition costs and fewer out-of-pocket expenses.
10. Accredited by Respected Organizations
Some RN to MSN online programs are accredited by respected organizations, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or CCNE. These organizations provide accreditation to educational programs that meet certain requirements. Being in an accredited program helps ensure that you gain a quality education while earning your MSN degree.
Start Your Journey Toward an RN to MSN Program
Are you ready to get started on making the journey toward earning your MSN degree? Post University’s online RN to MSN program is an accredited degree program that teaches the skills and knowledge required for more advanced nursing careers. This online program offers monthly start dates, affordable tuition costs, and a practice-focused curriculum. Post’s RN to BSN/MSN program is fully online with no mandatory login times, which provides a high degree of flexibility for you.
What do you need in order to apply to this degree program? You will need to submit a copy of your active U.S. RN license, proof of residence, official transcripts from every post-secondary school you have attended, and a completed application. You must also meet specific requirements. For example, GPA requirements include a prelicensure program with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
How to Apply
Post University makes it easy to apply for our online RN to BSN/MSN degree program. You can fill out and submit an online application at your convenience. With monthly start dates available, you can begin at a time that works best for you. You can choose between a traditional term-based delivery method or a flexible approach with virtual simulations that allow you to be more self-paced. You can also speak with an admissions advisor for more information on requirements and the admissions process.
If you are interested in earning your MSN, please contact Post University. We offer an RN to BSN/MSN degree program that allows you to earn this advanced degree in a shorter timeframe than completing these degree programs separately. We offer five MSN specializations so you can choose the one that most closely aligns with your goals.
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Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes 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 advisor.