In the field of nursing the MSN is one of the leading and best paying positions available. Many nurses make the decision to move up to a MSN position after working for several years as a RN or BSN. This position offers great job potential and is currently in high demand. This demand for MSNs is expected to increase rapidly in the upcoming years. If you have been considering improving your job potential in the nursing industry, you may want to find out just what is a MSN.
What Is a MSN?
An MSN degree is specifically designed for those nurses who want to further their career in the nursing field. MSNs have a variety of career paths to choose from, including teaching in a nursing program, or becoming a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse leader, nurse administrator, nurse executive, nurse researcher, or clinical nursing specialist. Clinical nursing specialists typically specialize in one area of medicine, such as cardiac care, geriatrics, or pediatrics.
Nurse practitioners, who have a MSN, can perform many of the same duties as physicians. In fact, in some hospitals and medical offices, the nurse practitioner may provide total care for the patient in place of the physician. A nurse anesthetist can administer anesthesia to patients, but works under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. MSN can work in a variety of healthcare facilities, including nursing homes, hospitals, physicians’ offices, governmental agencies, nursing schools, colleges, and universities.
How Do I Become a MSN?
If you are wondering how do I become a MSN, the first step will be to obtain your BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree. After you have obtained your BSN, you can continue on to earn your Master of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN) at any accredited college or university that offers a MSN program. This course typically takes about two years of additional education. Your studies will include advanced nursing classes, clinical hands-on practice, management courses, and classes pertaining to your specific area of study.
Determining what degree does a MSN need, you will have to consider what specific specialty you want to focus on for your career. For example, if you want to become a nurse practitioner, you will need to go through a MSN course geared towards nurse practitioners. You may even need to narrow you specialty even further and determine what type of nurse practitioner you want to be, such as psychiatric, perinatal, pediatric, or family.
Depending on your career path, you may also need to take an examination in your specific area of practice after obtaining your MSN degree. This will help you secure the medical license necessary to practice as a MSN in your specific state. Some administrative and teaching jobs do not require you to take a test or obtain a license beyond your RN license.
What Is the Outlook for MSNs?
The outlook for MSN jobs in the future is well above the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), MSN careers, such as nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners is expected to increase as much as 31% over the next six years. This puts these types of occupations in very high demand until at least the year 2020. The BLS also reports an average salary of $96,460 per year for these same MSN careers.