If you’re like most nurses considering a master’s degree, you’re probably looking to boost your potential earnings and accomplish at least one of these goals:
- Practice in a more cutting-edge nursing specialty like informatics.
- Move into an administrative position in a hospital or other facility and reduce your “hands on” nursing tasks.
- Gain business skills that will allow you to move out of nursing completely into a new role at an insurance company, healthcare system or other organization where your nursing knowledge makes you a more effective manager.
To qualify for vast majority of nursing master’s degree programs, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing already completed, and posess an unencumbered RN license.
There are a limited number of “general” masters degree programs in nursing (see listed below). Most MS or MSN degrees in this field tend to be focused on a management or clinical field. Because a more specialized degree can, potentially, give you faster entree into a new kind of job, you might consider doing some extra research to pick a very specific career path to work on. On the other hand, a general master’s degree can give you a broader array of options that can be used in smaller facilities, or even in a job in the insurance industry or some other health-related field outside of direct patient care.
Click to Full List of Nursing Master’s Degrees Online
Nursing Administrator Specialized Programs:
Nursing administrators generally oversee and manage a staff of nurses, making sure all shifts are covered and that the correct procedures are followed. Masters degrees for this career track go under the titles like MSN in Leadership and Management or MSN Executive Leadership, though there are some more generalized RN to MSN “bridge” programs designed to allow nurses to avoid having to go back to school for a full bachelor’s degree.
Nurse Educator or Nursing Professor Degrees:
This degree equips you to create plans for how nurses are educated and trained in a hospital or other health care facility, or to become a professor in a nursing college. It also covers formulating policies for an organization, innovative teaching methods, research skills and using technology in teaching. Masters programs that lead to this type of career include MSN Healthcare Education, MSN Nurse Education, MSN Clinical Nurse Leadership or MSN in Contemporary Nursing Faculty.
Professionals in this area tend to focus on the technology systems involved in patient care, and how effectively they are being used to collect and distribute important information. That could involve reorganizing the computer system nurses are using in a hospital, designing programs that teach nurses how to use technology or helping to manage the upkeep of the tech systems at a facility. This is not, however, IT or “code developer” type work. Informatics specialists bring their clinical knowledge of nursing to tech projects to make sure they are designed to manage the information involved in real patient care and diagnosis effectively.