As the need for healthcare workers increases, so does the need for qualified nursing staff. COVID changed the way a lot of us think about healthcare. While some people simply thought that front-line workers were just being dramatic, others realized the toll the pandemic took on doctors and nurses. Many providers walked away from medicine altogether, which has resulted in an ongoing shortage of qualified nurses. If you’re already a nurse but aren’t sure if you should pursue your MSN, here are the reasons that will help you decide.
Even though you probably love helping people, earning your MSN will also net you a higher annual salary. On average those with a Master of Science degree can earn as much as $113,000 annually.
While registered nurses usually work in the hospital or in an outpatient setting, they don’t always get to work in their chosen specialization. With an advanced degree, you can choose a specialization and assume a leadership role as well. For example, if you thrive in the critical care setting, you can become a charge nurse in a trauma center. In this role, you’d have a group of registered nurses working on your team, who would report directly to you.
When done properly, you can become someone others look to for advice and guidance. If you’re currently still paying for your previous degree, you worry about the overall cost of another degree. While this is a legitimate concern, know you do have options. Oftentimes, it’s possible to roll your existing balance over into a new one, which not only lowers the payment but possibly the interest as well. In turn, this can lower your monthly expenses overall.
Aside from the obvious perks, like increased compensation, more credentials to help you create a strong cover letter on applications, and a higher-ranking position, earning an advanced degree can also give you the personal enrichment you’ve been looking for. If you’ve been in your current role for some time, it’s not uncommon to feel stagnant, or like you’re just going through the motions. That’s not to say you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, however, you might feel like you need more. Pursuing further education can help close the gap and enrich your life, personally and professionally.
Open New Doors
Once you graduate, you can also explore different roles in medicine. In addition to promotions, you might want to step into an entirely different role. You might want to explore a more corporate position within a hospital setting or oversee a medical office in the outpatient setting. You can also explore job opportunities as a teaching nurse as well. You can even consider working in underdeveloped areas where quality medical care isn’t readily available.
Offer Better Healthcare Services
Even the most dedicated nurses need continuing education, and as healthcare continues to evolve, so does the need for more educated professionals. Completing your MSN degree will give you the tools you need to deliver the best care possible to your patients. It’ll also help you build upon the skills you have while implementing advanced medical treatment.
Aside from becoming an educator, furthering your education also allows you to become a mentor to others. Nurses who are just starting out look for guidance, particularly from someone they can trust. Having these advanced credentials will allow you to help newbies in the field and also share your wisdom and insight.
Improved Work Schedule
Most RNs work 12-hour shifts in rotation. And while this might seem great at first, especially working four days on and having three days off, there comes a time when you need a different schedule. Aside from working in a traditional doctor’s office, where you usually work eight hours, having your MSN will give you more flexibility in your schedule, even in a hospital setting.
Work in Research
With a master’s, you can also participate in research projects. You can use your education to write thesis papers or partake in research studies in medical fields that interest you the most.
Enhanced Job Stability
Although there’s still a shortage of nurses, having an extra layer of education and knowledge can offer enhanced job security. Employers, in every sector of medicine, want people who care enough to continue their education.