What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Nursing?

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Nursing?

Postgraduate study is a big commitment, both in terms of time and money. 

If you’re considering a master’s in nursing, it’s important to consider the time and financial commitment and weigh it up against the benefits that you hope to gain once you have completed your studies. 

By doing this, you can understand whether undertaking a master’s in nursing is the right option for you.

In this article, we’ll talk about how much time and money you will really need to invest and explore some of the options that will be open to you once you graduate.

Financial commitment

The financial commitment involved in getting your master’s in nursing will depend on what level of qualification you are currently at – for example, if you already have a BSN (bachelor of science in nursing), then you won’t need to undertake as much additional study to attain your master’s, so the cost will be less.

The cost will also vary depending on where you study, whether you study part-time or full-time, and if you study online or on campus.

The average cost of a master’s in nursing is between $35,000 and $60,000. When calculating how much it will cost for you, you will need to narrow down a shortlist of courses and then for each one include:

  • Tuition costs
  • Travel expenses (both to campus and to your clinical placement)
  • Rent increases if you need to relocate
  • Books and other stationery
  • Childcare costs

Once you know this, you have an idea of what the course will actually cost you – sometimes, the courses that seem the most reasonable can end up being expensive because of things like location. 

It’s also an excellent idea to explore nursing scholarships, as you may be able to get some financial assistance with the cost of your course.

Time commitment

The longer you spend studying, the longer you aren’t earning as much as you could be, so this is an important thing to take into account when choosing your master’s course or deciding whether a master’s is right for you.

Again, the time commitment involved will vary depending on which course you choose or your current level of education. If you don’t already hold a BSN, a good option is to look at masters in nursing for non nursing majors. This accelerated course is designed for people making a career change and takes place over 20 months so that you can get started in your new healthcare career in under two years.

Earning potential

A master’s in nursing means that you are qualified to work in advanced nursing positions, which, as you might expect, come with a higher salary.

The average salary for a registered nurse with a BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) is around $73,000 per year, depending on where in the country you work and which institution you work for.

If you have a master of science in nursing (MSN), you can earn much more than this because advanced nursing positions come with higher salaries. We’ll go on to discuss just some of the positions that you will be qualified for below.

Nurse practitioner

Nurse practitioners are highly qualified and have almost the same level of authority over patient care as a physician does.

They can work in any number of specialist areas, such as primary care, oncology, cardiology, pediatrics, and mental health, and their role involves assessing and diagnosing patients, advocating for patients, providing health education, and ensuring ongoing quality of care.

Unlike registered nurses, nurse practitioners are allowed to give prescriptions (depending on the state), and in some states, they can even open their own healthcare clinics. Nurse practitioners play a huge part in ensuring that people living in rural locations have good access to healthcare by setting up clinics and providing education on living a healthy life. For example, you might educate people in your community on disease prevention or on making healthy lifestyle choices.

The average salary for Nurse practitioners is $117,670 per year.

Clinical nurse leader

Clinical nurse leaders are nurses who have taken on a leadership role.

Typically, they will be responsible for the wellbeing of a team of nurses, ensuring that they are receiving all of the training that they need and acting as their mentors. They will have a say in healthcare policy in the hospitals and healthcare facilities they are working in, helping to ensure that the level of care provided is excellent.

Clinical nurse leaders often act as advocates for patients and staff alike, speaking up for people to ensure that their needs are met. As a clinical nurse leader, you will form bonds with your patients and staff and use what you know about them to fight their corner when needed.

The average salary for a clinical nurse leader is $104,107.

Nurse educator

Nurse educators work in hospitals, universities, and colleges, educating the next generation of nurses and ensuring that they are equipped to face the challenges that come along with being a nurse.

Nurse educators might work in a university, providing a structured program of study in the classroom. Or they might work in a hospital, providing hands-on learning.

Becoming a nurse educator is a great way to shape the future of healthcare. As an educator, you have the opportunity to inspire your students and to ensure that they embark on their careers equipped with the right knowledge to help them save lives.

On average, nurse educators earn $80,380.

Nurse anesthetist

As you might have guessed from the name, nurse anesthetists are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients when they undergo medical procedures.

They also monitor the patient’s vital signs during the procedure to ensure their safety, and they monitor patients who are recovering from anesthesia. It’s an absolutely vital role that ensures that surgical and other medical procedures can be carried out safely.

Nurse anesthetists work alongside anesthetists, surgeons, physicians, or dentists and work as part of a team to ensure patient wellbeing. 

It’s a highly specialized profession and is well remunerated accordingly. On average, nurse anesthetists in 2016 earned $160,270 per year!