Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)

Are you interested in attending an MSN program? If you’re ready to be a nurse leader or an independent practitioner, the next step in your educational journey is a master’s degree. An investment in yourself, it opens doors to a whole new world of career opportunities.

What Is an MSN Degree?

An MSN is a Master of Nursing Science degree. Designed to build on your bachelor’s degree, programs explore nursing topics in-depth, preparing graduates for independent and leadership roles. You’ll gather the knowledge and practical skills necessary to be at the top of your field.

What Do You Learn in an MSN Program?

A master’s degree program includes courses that are not traditionally part of a 4-year curriculum. MSN programs cover subjects, such as epidemiology and healthcare informatics, in broader and deeper ways. Instead of seeing the nursing field from the bottom up, you’ll gain a top-down perspective. Core classes include:

Nursing Theory

Nursing theory is the fundamental, evidence-based knowledge that guides your professional practice. MSN programs enrich your existing education in ways that reframe how you think about nursing. You’ll learn new concepts, challenge old assumptions, and explore new ideas.

Advanced Pathophysiology

The Advanced Pathophysiology course offers greater insight into the normal and abnormal functions of the human body. You’ll investigate the developmental, cultural, social, and economic factors associated with disease at the individual and community levels.

Advanced Pharmacology

This course covers pharmacotherapeutics at the cellular level, examining broad categories of drugs in greater detail. The emphasis is on safe and cost-effective medication management for common health issues.

Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice

Nursing is an evidence-based field, yet how conclusions evolve is often a mystery. This course takes a deep dive into the research processes including data gathering, analysis and problem-solving strategies.

Advanced Health Assessment

You’ll take your head-to-toe assessment skills to the next level with this advanced course, learning how to apply research and evidence-based guidelines to nursing practice for all ages. Graduates are well-prepared for independent practice.

Health Care Policy

Healthcare is a highly complex and regulated industry guided by evidence-based policies and procedures. In this course, you’ll investigate the role of policy, including development, implementation, and change. Topics include medical law, ethics, labor relations, finance, and healthcare technology.

Population Health, Epidemiology and Statistical Principles

If you’ve ever wondered how chronic illnesses and infectious diseases are managed within the community, this course is for you. You’ll learn how public health officials gather and analyze the data with which they develop population-based interventions.

Health Promotion and Role Development in Advanced Nursing Practice

Nurses do more than aid the sick. They prevent illness by promoting wellness. At a time in which medical resources are stretched thin, advanced practice nurses are increasingly taking on risk management roles. This class teaches you the critical thinking skills necessary to take the reins as an advanced practice nurse.

Health Informatics

Medicine is a data-driven industry. The study of healthcare informatics gives you the skills you need to assess and implement the IT solutions that can empower patients, nurses, and organizations. You’ll get a comprehensive overview of EMR, EHR and other data management systems.

Nurse Leadership and Management

Leaders aren’t born, they’re made. This course focuses on the leadership skills nurses need to guide organizations through continuous improvement processes. Topics include practice management, leadership models, quality assessment, benchmarking, health economics and cultural competency.

Decision Making

Nurses at all levels are decision-makers, but responsibilities increase as you rise through the ranks. In this class, you’ll harness your newfound skills to become a safer and more confident clinical decision-maker.

Capstone Project

A capstone project is an independent research venture on a nursing topic of your choice. It allows you to demonstrate your competency in an area of interest while developing a sense of your career trajectory. A fun and creative way to put the final touch on your education experience, it’s your chance to shine.

What Are the Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree in Nursing?

Benefit #1: Reach Top Jobs in Your Nursing Field

Only a portion of nurses have an MSN, so earning one positions you for the top jobs in your field from research to management. You’ll have greater earning potential and career flexibility.

Not all nurses have the opportunity to choose how they make their mark in a dynamic and growing field. The more education you have, the more your input matters.

Benefit #2: Gain Deeper Nursing Knowledge with a Post-Graduate Certificate

Nurses with an MSN qualify for post-graduate certification in academia, management, and independent practice, such as:

Nurse Educator

With experience, an MSN, and a post-graduate certificate, you can become a nursing instructor. If you enjoy mentoring novice nurses, a career in education is both rewarding and secure.

Nurse educators are in high demand. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that more than 91,938 qualified applicants are turned away from Baccalaureate and Graduate programs annually because of instructor shortages. And the problem is only worsening as older instructors retire in droves.

Nurse Leadership and Management

Education is the key to an influential position in nursing management. Without an MSN, leadership opportunities are limited. Training programs offer the skills you need to help healthcare facilities grow as a unit manager or vice president.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Family Nurse Practitioners are nurses who practice autonomously under the distant supervision of a physician. They provide primary care for all age groups, diagnosing and treating illnesses. Guidelines vary, but FNPs now have prescribing privileges in all 50 states. As the shortage of primary care providers worsens, they’re filling an important niche.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Psychiatric nurse practitioners are advanced practice RNs trained to care for patients with mental health struggles. They conduct mental health exams, prescribe medications, and monitor treatment.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% growth in demand for nurse practitioners through 2031. And mental health nurses are among the most sought-after.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

An Adult-Gerontologic Acute Care Nurse Practitioner provides care for adults and seniors with chronic health problems, including frequent exacerbations. According to the CDC, nearly 47% of adults aged 55 and over have two chronic conditions that require constant management.

The better that illnesses are controlled, the less likely they are to cause loss of mobility and independence. As healthcare costs rise, nurse practitioners will play a key role in keeping at-risk demographics healthier. You may work in a private practice, a nursing facility, a home health agency, or a public health department.

Final Thoughts

Education is the foundation of professional growth in the nursing field. No amount of experience is a substitute for credentials. Advancement and opportunity are built on higher learning, beginning with getting an MSN.

Want to Learn More?

The MSN graduate program is designed to build upon the student’s baccalaureate nursing education and professional experience This program prepares professional nurses with a wide range of educational experiences to acquire essential evidence-based knowledge and skills for successful employment in chosen careers. For those prospective students who already have an MSN, FNU offers Post-Graduate Certificates in the following disciplines: Nurse Educator, Nurse Leadership & Management, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP).

If you are interested in accounting, let Florida National University answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to learn more about our MSN degree program.