There are certainly many avenues one could take to become a nurse, and subsequently many nursing tracks to choose from. Some nursing paths are determined by specializations while others can be achieved based on the amount of school the nurse has undergone. Many nurses are satisfied with the RN status they received from completing an associates degree in nursing. You can certainly have a fulfilling career in nursing with this credential, however, A bachelor’s degree can open many doors for nurses, including access to more specialized tracks and also a higher pay scale potential. Achieving a Master’s of Science in Nursing is another step that nurses can take to go that much farther in the field. This degree also increases the options for many leadership positions.
Jobs for nurses with MSN degrees can encompass many leadership and managerial positions. In fact, in the year 2015, there were over 333,000 people who held positions as Medical Managers as noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics with an MSN. The projection is that this career path will show growth by 18% between 2018 and 2028. Just that career alone is undergoing tremendous growth, not to mention the growth potential of specialized nursing careers that require an MSN. The other aspect of this growth that should also be addressed is that not only is the field evolving, but nurses with leadership skills have to fill the holes left by aging out retirees in that were once holding court in nursing leadership and executive positions.
What is the Average MSN Salary?
Good question, but to be frank, there is not a simple answer. There are many careers you can dive into with this lucrative credential. Payscale has reported the average median income of a nurse manager as being $84,341 in 2020. Nurse Educators are other common MSN holding nurse leaders and their current average salary is $75,114. The range does not stop at these professions though. The highest documented MSN holding nurses salary belongs to a nursing anesthesiologist who can take home up to $174,790 annually, and not too far behind is a nurse midwife who can make a salary within a wide range, but upwards of $106,000 per year. This is merely an illustration of the large array of opportunities both in terms of compensation and also career paths that an MSN can offer.
What Are Some Jobs for Nurses with MSN Degrees?
This is the fun part. As aforementioned, there are many places to go with a Masters of Science in Nursing. When looking at program offerings, many of which are delivered online, you can get a sense of all of the ways you can specialize in this field. For example, many programs have a set of core courses that are coupled with classes and fieldwork geared towards the specific focus of the niche you may choose. Some common specialities include:
Nurse Educator: These are the innovators that you find when you are getting your MSN. Their role is to use evidence based practices to train the next generation of nurses and nurse leaders. They advise students while also designing curricula and developing programs of study.
Nurse Gerontologist: Many nurses achieve an MSN for the express purpose of going deeper into the field of gerontology, which specifically addresses the health issues that come with age. There are many opportunities to work with aging adults in a variety of healthcare settings, including acute care and primary care.
Healthcare Administrator: Many nurses who have worked directly with patients for a while and are ready for a change, achieve an MSN to apply their credentials towards a career in healthcare administration. Nurse administrators are critical members of the executive team that make things run. They are the go-to for all personnel related concerns. They also make decisions related to policies and develop and implement budget strategies.
Informatics Nurse: This position is reserved for the nurse techie. This unique niche brings together clinical care and computers, along with many other aspects of STEM. The field of informatics continues to evolve and grow as does the impact of technology on medicine.
There are many ways a Masters of Science in Nursing can not only push you up the ladder, but also enable you access a more specialized position. Finding a niche that piques your interest might be more fulfilling to you than what a basic RN license offers. Take a look at a variety of the programs that support this degree path while asking yourself what your career goals are. If you look close enough you will find a way to get there that is easy and affordable.