Advanced degrees almost always mean additional opportunities. Nursing is no different. A Master's Degree in Nursing provides additional opportunities for clinical work, clinical management, administration and teaching. With an MSN, the opportunities to serve people range from crafting policy and procedures, to working directly with patients on a daily basis.
Nurses with an MSN degree are exposed to additional opportunities in both clinical practice and administration. With a clinical focus, MSN's have the ability to pursue positions such as a nurse educator, clinical anesthetist, nurse practitioner or clinical nursing specialist-- all positions that give a nurse the opportunity to directly serve patients at the highest level using cutting-edge technology and research. To gain this level of competency, the MSN nursing curriculum focuses on advanced research methodology, statistics, policy and independent field work and study, in addition to ethics, critical and excellent high-level communication and management skills.
When MSN's typically work in many of the same environments as other nurses, such as hospitals and clinics, research facilities, public health agencies such as the CDC, and even rehabilitation facilities, more opportunity and responsibility is the norm. Frequently, nurses with an MSN are employed in management and decision-making roles where they help determine everything from budgets to work schedules including crisis policies and procedures. Administrative options for those with management skills include nursing administrator or nurse manager. A final benefit of an MSN is that it is the preparation for a PhD in Nursing, where nurses specialize in academic teaching or high-level research positions.
In the future, with waves of nurses retiring at all levels, combined with an increased demand for health care by an aging population, nurses of all levels will be in high demand. Organizations need nurses with an MSN who have the clinical skills and knowledge to assume management roles which allow healthcare companies to operate at peak efficiency while offering unparalleled care.