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What Can I Do With an MSN?

For working nurses who want to advance and specialize with an MSN degree, the options can seem overwhelming. There are so many nursing specialties, and so many ways you can choose, that it can be hard to decide. When determining what you can do with an MSN and what are the best MSN programs for you, it’s essential to focus specifically on what is right for you.

Because there are many types of MSN degrees, you can look at things like the MSN salary and MSN salary per hour to help narrow your focus more, but money isn’t everything. Nursing specialities focus on particular populations, particular illnesses, or particular locations (sometimes all of the above). Experience can tell you where you work best, who you work best with, and what kinds of situations you feel equipped to handle, and your MSN program itself is part of that experience.

What are the Types of MSN Degrees?

There are four primary MSN degree options available for those who would like to advance their degrees. These include RN to MSN programs, BSN to MSN programs, ADN to MSN programs, and ASN to MSN programs. Each of these types of MSN degrees has specializations. For example, nursing specialties could include becoming a clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, gerontologist, midwife, neonatal nurse practitioner, or psychiatric nurse practitioner.

It’s possible for nursing students to participate in these programs either full or part-time. It’s also possible for students to enroll and participate in face-to-face classes, online programs, or a combination of the two. Some schools require those who are participating in online courses to attend campus orientation and come to class for in-person project presentations. It’s possible for a full-time student to complete their coursework quicker and participate in accelerated programs. For those who intend to work full-time while taking classes, the recommendation is to do so online with a part-time course load.

What Can I Do With These MSN Degree Options?

When obtaining your MSN, the first thing you’ll achieve is choosing between nursing specialties in your field. Upon doing so, this opens you up to better job prospects and higher salaries. For those who are interested, there’s also teaching opportunities. Once you’ve achieved your MSN, you’ll also be on your way toward earning your Ph.D.

Not only do these additional educational opportunities afford you a higher degree of professionalism, but further career advancement. When you achieve this goal, it affords you the ability to move into career paths that allow you to achieve career longevity.

When nurses graduate, they can utilize their MSN degree options for exploring career paths depending on their nursing specialties. For example, if they participated in BSN to MSN programs with a Certified Nurse Educator concentration, for example, then they can provide clinical training and instruction to practicing nurses and nursing students.

What Can a Graduate Expect for an MSN Salary?

According to the National Bureau of Labor and Statistics, those graduating can expect their MSN salary to be approximately $47,000 annually. What this equates to is an MSN salary per hour of $22.33. When looking at MSN specialties, however, the MSN salary and MSN salary per hour experience a significant increase – especially in areas with a significant nursing shortage, or shortage of doctors.

For example, those receiving the highest pay are Nurses anesthetists. Their annual wage is $157,690 with an hourly rate of $75.81. Nurse practitioners come in at a close second at $95,070 annually and $45,71 hourly.

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