Rn To Msn

High quality medical attention and patient care cannot be guaranteed without a skilled and qualified workforce. Doctors and medical practitioners rely on a team of efficient nurses to help and treat their patients. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is a means to enhance the qualifications of registered nurses (RNs). This is possible by supplementing their initial training they have received while studying for diploma or bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN).

The job outlook for registered nurses is expected to be better than other professions. RN positions are predicted to increase at the rate of 19% faster than the average growth for all other occupations between 2012 and 2022 (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - BLS). If you are a registered nurse and want to improve your nursing skills, and equip yourself with leadership and management skills, then consider an online RN to MSN program.  Many universities across the United States are offering this program. Not only do these online programs allow for professional growth, they do so while giving you the opportunity to continue with your occupational and familial duties.

Admission to the program requires a diploma or a degree in nursing.  An RN must have a valid nursing license in order to apply. Some states need applicants to have a valid license of the state in which they are interested in studying. There are programs that require a year of clinical practice while others allow for RNs to practice and gain experience during the course of their studies. The degree typically takes three years to complete depending on the specific requirements of the school as well as the previous qualifications of the students. Candidates with strong GPAs are likely to be at an advantage during the admission process. Some programs also cover baccalaureate level curriculum, beneficial for those who have not completed the BSN degree. Such students may be awarded both the BSN and MSN degrees on successful completion of program requirements.

RN to MSN programs also allow students to choose from two or more specialty areas or "tracks". Options typically include

  • Nursing theory and practice
  • Health science
  • Community health nursing
  • Health policy and planning
  • Biostatistics
  • Health disparities
  • Healthcare management
  • General education
  • Technology in healthcare

Increasingly, career advancement in the field of nursing requires graduate level qualifications. This is one of the reasons behind rising enrollment in RN to MSN programs. On completion of the program, graduates may apply for teaching or managerial-level positions in various healthcare settings.  Moreover, nurses who have completed an RN to MSN program may be able to earn more.

Career Options

According to BLS, nurses are expected to grow in demand in the coming years. Having an advanced degree such as MSN may help expand career opportunities, and allow nurses to prepare for advanced roles in the healthcare industry. This degree may also help nurses gain a competitive edge in the professional world.


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