Master Degree In Nursing MSN

Master Degree in Nursing and the more commonly used equivalent Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are nursing degree programs offered by graduate level colleges and universities. While entry requirements vary from school to school, graduate level nursing studies are generally targeted at the Registered Nurse with a Bachelor Degree in Nursing. Some nursing schools offer flexibility by way of bridge programs for the Registered Nurse with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN, ASN) to obtain both their BSN and MSN in one nursing program. Other nursing schools now offer a Generic Master Degree in Nursing program designed for those with a bachelor degree in an unrelated field, designed to catch up the student on Registered Nurse training while pursuing their Master Degree in Nursing.

Master Degree in Nursing Points:

  • Master degree nursing programs generally last 2 years, see nursing schools to find a college or university.
  • RN license and a bachelor degree in nursing or related field is generally required to enroll.
  • Some MSN nursing schools feature associate degree bridge programs, others allow unrelated bachelor degrees to enroll.
  • Graduate level nursing programs are designed to advance the Registered Nurse beyond direct care of patients.
  • MSN nursing degree can help career advancement, job security, job satisfaction and personal growth.

RN Master Degree Programs

Most students entering into a master degree in nursing program already have their Registered Nurse license and have some work experience. The goal at this point in the nurse's career is to move beyond direct care of patients and to explore new career opportunities. While similarities can be found among master degree in nursing programs, major courses of study and specialties can vary. Ultimately your career goals and aspirations will need to be in sync with the master degree program that you chose. Registered Nurses can enter into master degree programs that prepare them for careers in advanced clinical practice, nursing education, research, informatics, and healthcare business management. Below are a few of the specialty areas you may review while searching for a nursing school.

  • Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Nurse Administrator / Manager
  • Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Nurse Consultant
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Nurse Researcher

Registered Nurse to Master of Science in Nursing or RN to MSN nursing programs offer fast track completion of a Master Degree in Nursing. Women and men already licensed as a Registered Nurse and hold a bachelor degree in nursing or a related field can generally enroll into a RN to MSN nursing program. Registered Nurse with an associate degree in nursing or a related field can apply to a RN to BSN nursing program to first receive their bachelor degree, or try to find a RN to MSN bridge program that will allow the Registered Nurse to complete both the bachelor and master degree in one longer program. Women and men licensed as a Practical or Vocational Nurse will generally need to enroll into a LPN to RN or LPN to BSN nursing program before attempting to enroll into a master degree in nursing program.

Generic Master Degree in Nursing

More people today are exploring careers in nursing, likewise, colleges and universities are trying to figure out better ways to attract and educate those explorers. For those who are not currently in the field of nursing yet already have a bachelor degree in an unrelated field, the Generic Master Degree in Nursing might be the best program in which to enroll. The general goal of enrolling into a Generic Master Degree in Nursing program is to become a Registered Nurse, and also to prepare for any healthcare related job that may require a bachelor or master degree. Generic Master Degree in Nursing programs first allow students to complete bachelor level courses as needed to satisfy state licensure requirements. When ready, the student can sit for the RN licensing exam and continue on with their master degree nursing program.

Remember that your state board of nursing website has the latest information about Registered Nurse RN licensing requirements for your state. If necessary as in the case of the Generic Master Degree in Nursing program, also remember to verify that your program is approved by your state otherwise you may not be able to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. When deciding between a Bachelor Degree vs Master Degree in Nursing, we recommend that you talk to RN nurses currently working at your healthcare facility, potential employers, and to search for Registered Nurse jobs online to review job descriptions. When reviewing job descriptions look for mention of a master degree in nursing and other nursing degree requirements.

Last updated: February 19, 2017

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