Many nurses are content with their BSN and decide to forgo furthering their education. After all, with a bachelor’s degree, nurses can have a very fulfilling and well-paid job. It almost feels as if earning your master’s is unnecessary.
For new nurses and nurses that have been working for a while, a master’s degree isn’t just another credential. It can give you a major career boost, allowing you to take advantage of benefits that you never knew existed. Although it will take time, energy, and money, there are a number of reasons why earning your masters in nursing is worthwhile.
#1. Higher Salary
With higher education, you can expect a higher wage. Even if you decide not to advance in your career and to keep the same position as an RN, your salary will increase simply because you have a higher education. In many cases, graduates see an increase of $20,000. If you decide to change jobs in favor of a higher level position, you can expect an even higher salary increase.
#2. Better Hours
Nurses don’t have great hours, especially when they’re only just starting out or when they’re on the bottom half of the totem pole. With an MSN, you’ll be eligible for higher level and management positions, both of which often come with better hours and a more traditional schedule.
With the career opportunities that are made available once your graduate, earning your MSN will open up doors that allow for better hours and scheduling. If you have a young family, this can be especially beneficial as you can arrange your schedule to fit with the rest of your family.
#3. More Opportunities
Many nurses are content working as regular shift nurses for the entirety of their careers, but they also don’t realize how many opportunities they’re missing out on. With an MSN, you’ll be faced with so many new job opportunities that you can direct and manage your career in the way you want to.
A master’s degree gives you the knowledge and educational background required to take on higher positions. Whether you want to be a nurse manager or become a nurse educator and train the next generation of nurses, a master’s degree is a good way to help set you up for these opportunities.
Most nurses who graduate with their MSN either go on to work in administration and management or work as specialized clinical or advanced practice nurses. While some career paths are more common than others, you’re free to make your own decision once you graduate.
#4. Specialize Your Practice
Maybe you’re interested in a very particular niche of medicine. Without a master’s degree, you won’t be able to expand your knowledge of it to the same extent. You might be stuck watching from afar as other advanced nurses do the work that you want to do. Earning your MSN can change that.
There are a lot of different types of nursing master’s degrees, so you can truly specialize your studies in a way that you were unable to during your nursing program. If you can’t find the specialty available as an in-person course, then you may be able to find it as an online or hybrid program. In some cases, you may benefit more from an online program than an in-person one, but it depends on your own goals and needs.
#5. Become a Leader
During your master’s program, you’ll develop a lot of new skills, both technical and intrapersonal. With these skills, you’ll be better prepared to be a leader for your colleagues. Even if you don’t take up a leadership or management position, your skills as a leader will help encourage your colleagues and lead to better work life.
As a leader, you’ll be better prepared to help your colleagues and newer nurses handle challenging situations and make difficult decisions. Your patients will also feel more confident in your hands, as you project a sense of leadership and level headedness that they may not see in younger, newer nurses.
#6. Provide Better Patient Care
The skills you develop during a master’s program will allow you to provide better patient care. With more specialized knowledge and educational experience, you’ll have the means to care for, assist, and comfort patients when they need it. Whether they receive a grim diagnosis or exciting news, you’ll be there and ready to accommodate their needs in a more professional, knowledgeable manner.
#7. Inspire Others
When you graduate with an MSN, your colleague may be inspired to follow in your footsteps. As they watch you grow as a nurse and pursue your dreams, it will encourage them to do the same. You may even inspire young patients to become a nurse as you care for them and ensure they are comfortable during their time with you.
With your MSN, you’ll make a bigger impact on patients’ lives as you work to make their life better. Your expertise will not go unnoticed and your dedication to your work will inspire those around you.
It’s important never to underestimate the impact you can have as a nurse. Getting your masters in nursing will only expand this impact, allowing you to take on new positions and meet more people.
Boost Your Career
A master’s in nursing is one of the best ways to boost your career. Whether you want a salary increase, you’re looking for a better job position, or you just want to improve your patient care skills, a master’s program will help you achieve your goals and allow you to continue doing the work you love.
It won’t be easy to earn your MSN, but it’s a challenge worth taking on if you want to advance your career and help more people. Whether you complete the program online or on-campus, a master’s degree in nursing is a rewarding challenge you won’t regret.