Nursing is a sacred passion; you spend days and nights tending to patients and helping families. Though it seems exciting, it does require struggle and hard work, both study and practice, to reach somewhere.
A master’s degree is the key to learning more about your profession and becoming better at what you are. Yet when it comes to a master’s in nursing education, the first question that pops up in the minds of aspiring RNs is the time it takes to complete a master’s program.
You may also be concerned about why you should consider a master’s degree in the first place, or does it even hold some value? Choosing the right type of master’s program is also essential to avoid falling into problems later.
Sit back as we’ve already done all the homework, and this guide explores the answers to all your questions regarding how long it takes to get a master’s degree, choosing the right master’s program, and more!
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
What Is the Master of Nursing Degree?
A master’s degree in nursing (also referred to as “MSN”) is a post-graduate degree for experienced nurses. Nursing professionals can enroll in a master’s program after earning their bachelor’s degree in nursing or a similar discipline and acquiring their registered nurse certification.
The course curriculum aims to enhance nursing skills from leadership, administration, research, teaching to direct patient management, and coordination, etc. You can seek various paths after earning a master’s in nursing education, like:
- Pursuing the educational sector as a nurse educator
- Becoming a health policy expert (HPE)
- Becoming a nurse administrator
- Serving as a clinical nurse leader
What is the Value of a Master’s Degree in Nursing?
When moving from BSN to MSN programs, you indeed are opening up a new path to your career. A master’s in nursing holds excellent value because it gives you the freedom to become proficient in your skillset and enjoy the perks of having an MSN degree, such as
- You get more career opportunities.
- You can work as an advanced practitioner when doctors or physicians aren’t reachable.
- You can specialize in any of your preferred areas of healthcare (neonatal care, gerontology, pediatric care, etc. ).
- With a master’s in nursing, salary levels are sure to rise.
- Many non-profit organizations, companies, and universities offer scholarships to MSN students.
- A stable career path and potential jobs ensure you’re getting fairly paid for your efforts and aren’t just draining yourself out.
Other than that, you can save yourself from getting exhausted in long-hour shifts as professional nurses can opt for positions with comfortable work timings. It is also not mandatory to continue pursuing your nursing career as you get the freedom to associate yourself with organizations in the administrative sector, or managerial roles or to enjoy office-based employment.
Another amazing part of opting for a master’s degree is that it qualifies you for a nursing license and certification; your knowledge increases and so your expertise in the field and thus, you can become a mentor for other coworkers and healthcare professionals.
How to Choose Which Type of Master’s Program is Right for You?
The first and foremost condition to enrolling in a master’s program is to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing; Next, you can start considering various MSN programs offered (primary care nurse practitioner, occupational health nurse, women’s health nurse practitioner, etc. ).
It is also important to consider the institution’s admission criteria; generally, master’s in nursing requirements include:
- A current RN license (active & unrestricted)
- At least one year of RN experience
- A bachelor’s degree in nursing
- GPA Requirement (usually a 3.0)
Your institution may ask you to submit transcripts, a CV/resume, references, or other relevant credentials depending on which nursing program you go for.
Modes of Master’s Program
Another thing that matters along with selecting a master’s program is the educational mode; the available options are:
- On-campus classes
- Online studies
It depends on how convenient it is for you to take classes on-campus, as the alternative is to go for online programs. If you are already employed, an online course would be beneficial as it doesn’t bound the students to time and place and you can study at your comfortable time.
However, at the same time, taking classes in a college/university allows you to stay connected with your professors and learn better. Sure the digital world has unlimited access, but it does require some time to get answers which otherwise, you can easily ask your supervisors.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s in Nursing?
A master’s degree takes an average of two years to finish; however, this varies depending on the curriculum. If you already have a bachelor’s degree and want to get your nursing license, it will take you one and a half years to finish your degree.
However, those who do not come from a nursing background may take longer, and their MSN can span over three years. Students with a bachelor’s degree in any other field spend their first year learning about the nursing coursework and then move to advanced master’s training or clinical education.
Furthermore, how long does it take to get MSN after BSN also relies on the educational model as some online programs may take less time than campus studies? A person’s MSN timeframe might also be extended to four years if they have completed a diploma or other associate degree program.
How Much Money Can You Earn with an MSN Degree?
MSN graduation is considered one of the highest paying careers in medicine, with substantial personal and financial benefits. Since a bachelor’s degree in nursing typically makes almost $50,000 to $60,000 per year, with a master’s in nursing, salary at the start can be expected to be nearly around $80,000 to more annually.
Owning a master’s degree means having more career opportunities, proficiency in your field, and a better work-life relationship. You can choose from various master’s programs – either online or on-campus. Also, a master’s in nursing education can take about two to three years, though it depends on the institute and the MSN program.
I am Dr. Yenny Angela, a medical graduate from Hannover Medical School. I have expertise in emergency medicine and care for patients with multiple injuries. Also, I am a researcher always on the lookout for new scientific findings. I also have a publication on Researchgate.com.