Awhile back we took a look at the RN to BSN transition. We took a look at some of the hidden benefits of making that transition and why it’s something you should consider. An RN to MSN program allows registered nurses to bypass a bachelor’s degree in favor of a more intensive program that includes general education courses as well as bachelors and master’s degree courses. With a nursing shortage in full swing, a master’s degree could take you to the next level in your nursing career. There are numerous benefits of an RN to MSN program, so let’s take a look at what a master’s degree has to offer!
What is an RN to MSN Program?
I guess we should define what this type of program is first. While there are traditional programs that require you to have a BSN first, and RN to MSN program just requires that you’re a registered nurse. An online RN to MSN program allows you to earn two degrees through a single program of study. It also only requires an extra year of schooling. This accelerated program is intensive, but it is certainly worth the effort! Below are just a few of the many benefits of an RN to MSN program.
Benefits of an RN to MSN Program
Grow and Extend Your Career
There are a handful of nursing specializations that require more education. Luckily, one of the benefits of an RN to MSN program is that you’ll have the proper education to land a job in one of those specialties. Also, some of the most prestigious hospitals require that their staff have an MSN. Working at one of the better-known health care facilities means that you can expect a better wage.
Another benefit of an RN to MSN program is that you can extend your career in an administrative role. Nursing burnout is common in the industry. With long shifts spent on your feet, it’s no surprise that nurses can often become overwhelmed. An MSN degree will give you the chance to apply for more “behind the scenes” rolls that are more about administration and management. While you can certainly apply for a BSN, and then an MSN, this type of program will speed up the process!
Don’t forget that this is also the next step towards a doctorate degree. All nurses have to be committed to their continuous professional education. This does not necessarily mean that all of them have to study towards a Ph.D., but most choose to obtain a doctorate degree, eventually. Once you hold a Ph.D. you will be considered an expert in your field and you’ll be able to teach at a university level as well as do research in your field.
Save Time and Money!
Another benefit of starting an RN to MSN program is that you’ll save a lot of time and money in the process. Since you’ll essentially be combining a BSN and MSN, not only will you be saving about a year of schooling, but you’ll be saving a year’s worth of tuition as well. For example, At Sacred Heart University, the combined RN-BS-MSN degree enables many masters-level classes to be taken at undergraduate tuition rates, helping students save money. You can also get financial aid from the government and state-funded programs as well.
You’ll also make more money with an MSN degree. For example, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earned a median salary of $153,780 as of May 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly double that of an average RN’s salary. When it comes to the benefits of an RN to BSN program, you can certainly turn it into a lucrative gig.
Many experts in the industry believe that once the nursing shortage is combatted, the licensing laws will become more stringent. For now, you have a lot of options when it comes to working with a BSN. However, it’s believed that eventually, an MSN will be required for more nursing jobs.
MSN holders say that another one of the best benefits of an RN to MSN program is flexibility that the degree provides. While most registered nurses tend to work a variety of shifts, an MSN usually provides some leverage when choosing your schedule. If you wind up in an administrative role, you’ll most likely be working a traditional schedule. Your start dates can also be flexible. If you’re working in a classroom setting, you can usually choose when you’d like to start teaching classes.
The schooling is flexible as well. Many classes will be online and your residency can be scheduled at your leisure. These programs are a great way to continue working while still furthering your education.
We hope we’ve presented some stellar benefits of an RN to MSN program. As always, we have nursing careers for professionals of all academic levels, so make sure to check them out! If you have other MSN benefits you’d like to tell us, feel free to comment below!