Why Earn an Online Master of Science Degree in Nursing (RN to MSN)?
If you are a registered nurse (RN) looking to boost your career opportunities at your current healthcare employer, then earning your online Master of Science degree in Nursing (RN to MSN) may be your answer. Transition programs are designed for RNs who graduated with an associate degree (ADN) or diploma in Nursing. Many programs bridge the educational gap between the diploma or ADN and MSN by enabling students to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) prior to earning their Master of Science degree in Nursing. Some programs offer concentrations, which allow you to tailor your education, to some extent, towards your own goals. Concentrations offered may include care and outcomes manager and family nurse practitioner.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, overall employment of nurses (which includes case managers, nurse educators, nurse managers and nurse practitioners) is projected to grow much faster than the average occupation through the year 2016. Employment of medical and health services managers (which includes nurse administrators) is projected to grow faster than the average occupation.
Salary.com states that median annual earnings for case managers were $58,617 as of April 2008 reportings. Median annual earnings for nurse educators were $70,795. Median annual earnings for nurse managers (also known as head nurses) were $84,067. Median annual earnings for nurse practitioners were $79,869. Median annual earnings for nursing administrators (also known as nursing directors) were $105,746.
The course requirements in an RN to MSN degree program are a little different than traditional degree programs. Most of the RN to MSN programs have essentially two separate sets of course criteria: the BSN course requirements and the MSN course requirements. In addition, many programs allow students to use their current employment as an RN to fulfill some coursework requirements by keeping a nursing portfolio. The following lists represent the BSN and MSN coursework requirements, respectively:
BSN Course Requirements
- Healthcare Systems and Policy
- Introduction to Nursing Research
- Nursing Portfolio Workshop
- Professional Role Transition
- Health Assessment
- Ethics in Nursing
- Introduction to Leadership and Management
- Nursing Synthesis
MSN Course Requirements
- Advanced Health Promotion for all Ages
- Role for the Advanced Nurse
- Research, Evaluation and Analysis
- Primary Care
- Health Policy, Issues and Ethics
- Resource Management
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Leadership and Management
- Nursing Informatics
Skills You Will Learn
Skill sets vary depending upon several factors including school, program and chosen concentration among other things. The following skills are just some of the many typical skills graduates of a Master of Science Degree in Nursing (RN to MSN) have:
- Design, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of health policy
- Assume leadership role in a healthcare environment
- Provide quality and cost effective healthcare to patients