In the field of nursing, there is always room for progress. Nursing, in general, is a very diverse field. There are many ways you can go once you step into this industry. However, you carry the enormous responsibility of providing informed care as a nurse. Due to this, you go through intensive coursework and rigorous training during your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Once you gain your license, you become a Registered Nurse (RN) and serve humanity.
But what’s next? Are you content with being a bedside nurse throughout your career? While there is nothing wrong with this prospect, you may be looking for something more specific. Going back to school for an advanced nursing degree might just be what you need. It may seem tedious to manage school with a full-time nursing job, so to remedy this, many universities offer online courses to get master’s degrees.
In case you are still skeptical about going back to school, here is a list of goals that an advanced degree can help you achieve.
1. Specialized Practice
Becoming an RN is a huge achievement on its own. You undergo a degree program, complete a residency period, and take several tests to obtain a practicing license. Once you are in the field, you realize just how diverse this field really is. You come to know about the scope of various specializations.
To kick start your nursing career, you need to go for a specialization degree. There are different types of nurses who specialize in different fields, based on their area of interest and the scope of the field. Here are some options that can help you choose your specialization.
- Trauma Nurse
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Oncology Nurse Practitioner
- Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
2. Advanced Certification
While a specialized degree can certainly kickstart your career, sometimes it is not enough. Nursing is a highly competitive field. There may be thousands of potential candidates for your ideal job who are better qualified and have more experience. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities only prefer the best. To get in the race, you need to become an expert in your field.
An advanced degree can help you develop useful skills that might be just what your employer needs. Some advanced degree courses like post-graduate degrees can help you gain extra knowledge related to your field. This extra knowledge will help you grow your career.
3. Nurse Educator
While many nurses train to become practitioners, this is not the sole purpose of the degree. You may work as a bedside nurse and start feeling burned out. When this happens, it’s time to look for alternative careers in nursing.
Among these, a career in nurse education can be highly rewarding. If you feel more comfortable in a classroom, instructing the future generation of nurses, this might be your calling. A master’s in nurse education can help you develop the skills necessary to teach and train student nurses. This will accelerate your career growth exponentially in the field of education.
4. Leadership Opportunities
Usually, you qualify for leadership roles once you have been in the field for a few years. This is because nurse leaders have a greater responsibility toward the management of the department.
If you wish to speed up your chances for a leadership position, get an advanced degree in nurse administration. That, combined with years of experience as a practitioner, will certainly increase your chances to lead the nurses, the department, and ultimately the healthcare facility.
As the field of healthcare advances, scholars conduct new researches every day. If you feel fascinated by the research process and see yourself excel in libraries and laboratories, you may need to consider going into research.
Becoming a researcher is a lengthy procedure. In addition to an MSN, you need a doctorate in nursing. This advanced degree helps you develop the skills required to become an avid researcher and contribute to your field in a literary manner.
6. Work-Life Balance
A successful career often comes at the price of our family life. While some of us are prepared to pay such a price, not everyone can afford to ignore their family life. Nursing responsibilities combined with household responsibilities can take a toll on your mental health.
An advanced degree can help you achieve this balance. When you choose a specialization, your job description becomes more specific. Some specialized nurses, like family nurse practitioners (FNP), work fewer hours than others, like oncology nurse practitioners.
7. Financial Security
You come into nursing thinking of serving humanity. While doing so, you can also choose to make more money. The goal to earn more and earn well is not wrong. After all, you spend countless hours studying and working and give numerous exams to reach where you are.
An advanced degree increases your prospects to earn more. Studies show that an RN with an MSN earns more than RN with a BSN. Some nursing specializations pay more than others. It usually varies from state to state.
There is no easy road to success. To excel in your career, you need to go through difficult roads. Going for an advanced degree is a big step, but it has become the need of the hour. With these goals in mind, choose a degree that best suits your interests and start your journey to become the best in your field.