While 14 million Americans are out of work, nurses enjoy great job security. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts a need for more than one million new and replacement Registered Nurses by 2020, and online master’s degree programs in nursing are an excellent choice for students. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) calls this a “health care crisis,” and the agency is working with schools, policymakers, and the media to bring attention to the problem. While Registered Nurses report great job fulfillment, their counterparts with Master’s degrees report even greater job satisfaction.
They can also make up to twice the average Registered Nurse (RN) salary.
Thinking about kicking your career up a notch by getting a Masters’s degree in nursing? With the option of online degrees, you do not have to go to a traditional brick-and-mortar school. There are 63 online schools nationwide that offer Masters degrees in nursing; students range from the new RN seeking expansion to the experienced nurse wanting to get into management, consulting, or education positions. You are almost guaranteed to find work when you finish, as the Institute of Medicine’s “Future of Nursing” report calls for doubling the population of nurses with graduate degrees. Best of all, you choose the pace at which you learn: some accelerated nursing master’s programs will get that Masters’s degree in nursing in your hands in as little as a year.
Here, a look at some of the hottest job choices for nurses with Master’s degrees: Nursing Leadership and Management, Nursing Education, and Nurse Practitioner.
Jobs That “Miraculously Open Up” in Nursing
Nursing Leadership and Management:
Those who choose a Master’s degree in Nursing Leadership and Management have jobs such as staff developer or health administrator in schools, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. They may be nursing managers, planning and implementing policies and procedures for a unit. Many maintain nursing staff by hiring and training. They may still provide patient care, and they are responsible for assessing and evaluating patients. According to salary.com, those with a Master’s degree in Nursing Management make between $71,000 and $110,000. By way of comparison, the average salary of an RN is $57,200. Jobs are plentiful: Online Nursing Degrees writes that “Nursing Leadership and Management jobs have miraculously opened up in almost every area of health care and at every level.”
One of the careers for people with a Master’s degree in Nursing Education is to provide visionary education for future nurses. They inspire, motivate and mentor. They implement research-based “best practices” in the classroom while teaching such things as policy, organization, role development, and advanced nursing practices. Nursing Education majors may also be involved with patient care.
There are many career paths open for the Nurse Practitioner. In addition to the regular nurses’ training, Nurse Practitioners choose “specialties” for themselves, in areas such as pediatric, adult, geriatric, and mental health. The education required to enter the field depends on the specialty, but a Master’s degree is the minimum requirement. Nurse practitioners also must pass a stringent Board Certification Exam. This career opened up in the 1960s,in response to a shortage of doctors. Today, they work independently and collaboratively on the healthcare team. They may also engage in patient advocacy activities.
Nursing: The Opportunity of a Lifetime
Expanding your nursing career will almost certainly bring greater job satisfaction and more money. Today, with online Master’s degrees in nursing, you can finish that advanced degree in as little as a year. So give yourself the gifts of job fulfillment and more money: look into online Master’s degree programs in nursing today.