Every day 10,000 Baby Boomers reach the age of 65. This growth of the senior citizen population, along with increasing rates of obesity have caused explosive growth in the health care industry. Nursing schools are producing 1000s of new nurses every year. But how can truly exceptional nurses stand out from the crowd? By getting a Master’s Of Science in Nursing. Here are 5 reasons why an MS in Nursing is a smart decision.
Make More Money
Nurses with graduate degrees are able to fill jobs with much higher pay scales. While the average RN earned $64,690 in 2010, the average nurse practitioner can expect to earn $92,000/year. That’s a lot of cheese for an extra degree.
Nurses with an MS degree are able to move into more specific roles. Here are a few areas opened up:
- Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nurse Midwives
- Certified Clinical Nurse Specialists
- Certified Nurse Anesthetists
You Can Earn Your Degree Online
Several accredited universities now offer online programs that allow you to get an advanced degree without interrupting your current career. Additionally, class sizes tend to be smaller which allows greater access to instructors (albeit through online channels).
Increased Control Over Patient Care
While you’ll still be working closely with doctors, advanced practice nurses often have the ability to prescribe medications, transfer patients to more appropriate patient care facilities and administer anesthesia. The tasks vary by area of specialty, but nurses with an masters degree often are performing the task that many people would attribute to physicians.
Working in specialized areas often entails clinics and other outpatient settings. These facilities generally have hours much closer to a regular corporate job, not the 12-18 hour shifts experienced by trauma nurses. If you’re not an adrenaline junkie who can survive on little to no sleep, this could be a big reason to advance your nursing education.