The field of nursing has numerous opportunities for growth, many of which can be taken by enrolling in online MSN programs. The US healthcare industry as a whole is undergoing unprecedented growth, and the demand for registered nurses (RN) is expected to increase by more than 25% by the end of this decade. Acquiring a master's degree in nursing will allow you to tap into the very upper levels of the job market for RNs as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
An online masters in nursing is importing to help you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to get certified as an APRN. There are several areas in which you can work towards getting an MSN degree. Some of these include family nursing, nursing education, case management, nursing informatics, clinical nursing, health administration, and diabetes nursing. The courses that you study will build upon the knowledge and understanding that you have acquired from previous degree programs such as an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. Most of the curriculums for online msn programs have been based on the Essentials of Master's Education for Advanced Practice Nursing that has been developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Post-MSN Licensing and Certification
In order to use your masters degree to your full advantage and become an APRN, you have to sit for the necessary exams and become associated with a professional body for getting the proper credentials. Though becoming a member of such associations is voluntary, the credentials that you will acquire as a result will be invaluable in upgrading your resume. Nursing licenses are awarded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing after you pass the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN. There may be other licensing requirements that you will have to fulfill depending on the particular state that you are residing in.
From an MSN Degree to an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
In order to become a successful APRN, it is not sufficient to just possess the academic and professional credentials and technical skills. There are a number of character traits that will have to be demonstrated by you, considering that you will be dealing with patients and their families who are in a physical and emotionally vulnerable state. These include compassion, patience, emotionally stability, effective speaking skills, an eye for detail, and an ability to manage and organize. As an APRN, you will be required to extend primary as well as specialty care and support to patients. In many states, APRNs are also allowed to prescribe medicines. However the role in which you will work as an APRN will be either as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse-midwife, or a nurse practitioner.
The demand for APRNs in all four categories is expected to grow consistently through 2020. They will especially be required in regions where there is a lack of sufficient medical facilities, such as inner city communities as well as rural areas. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2010, the top fifty percent of registered nurses were earning at least $64,000 annually, with the top ten percent in excess of $95,000.