It is no secret that nurses play a crucial role in the healthcare system. No medical facility can survive without nurse professionals from hospitals to private clinics and rehab centers.
Note that nursing is never a one-and-done type of field. Each day, nurses encounter new challenges. Moreover, with the emergence of the latest technological advancements, the industry is ever-evolving. Thus, nurses who wish to be successful in their careers need to focus on professional development. After all, no matter how well-skilled or qualified you think you are, there is always some room for career progression.
So are you a Registered Nurse (RN) and looking for ways to advance your career? Then, you can consider pursuing a master’s degree that expands your knowledge and opens doors to various potential career opportunities. However, you might be feeling a bit reluctant to continue further education because of a hectic work schedule and family commitments.
In that case, you can enroll in online masters of nursing programs and become eligible for advanced nursing job roles. An online degree helps you learn at your flexible schedule and from the comfort of your home.
So let’s dive into some of the career opportunities you can consider after getting your MSN degree:
1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
One of the highest-paid career pathways for nurses with an MSN degree is Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Primarily, these professionals are responsible for administering anesthesia to the patients. The work environment includes hospitals, emergency rooms, surgical clinics, public health centers, and other medical facilities.
Individuals in this field must have strong communication and interpersonal skills to excel in their careers. The day-to-day job duties can include:
• Evaluate patient’s vitals before, during, and after the surgery
• Educate patients and their loved ones about the surgery procedure and post-recovery
• Request and assess diagnostic tests
• Set up the surgical room with the necessary medical supplies and equipment
• Stay abreast of the latest advancements in the field of anesthesia
According to PayScale, the average salary of CRNA is $164,212 per year.
2. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse Practitioners (NP) have more direct contact with patients and offer them the highest-quality patient care. Since these professionals have additional training and certification than the registered nurses, their job duties also exceed. NPs can work in various fields depending on their specialty.
Different specialties include family care, pharmacotherapeutics, pediatric, adult-gerontology, orthopedics, neonatal care, mental health, etc. Strong leadership, problem-solving, communication, and critical thinking are must-have skills to succeed in this career path. Typical job responsibilities can include:
• Perform a physical examination of patients to observe physical health
• Orders and analyze diagnostic tests
• Take notes on the patient’s medical history and other symptoms
• Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to devise a treatment plan
• Counsel patients and the overall community on how to prevent illnesses and injuries
The average salary of a Nurse Practitioner is $100,121 per year.
3. Nurse Educator
As the nursing field grows, the demand for nurse educators also grows. Nurse educators are in charge of training students to help them become future nurses of the world. Working in this field means sharing your knowledge, skills, and expertise with new and practicing nurses.
As the name implies, you will work in different settings, including community colleges, technical schools, and hospital-based education programs. To excel in your career, you must possess the patience, effective communication, professionalism, and time-management skills. Your job responsibilities can include:
• Plan and deliver educational curricula
• Become a mentor for aspiring nurses
• Oversee students’ performance and guide them in their educational journey
• Perform scholarly work, including research, writing papers, etc
• Remain updated with the latest clinical information and practices
The median salary of a nurse educator as per PayScale is $78,431 per year.
4. Research Nurse
Another fast-growing nursing career is research nurse. As a research nurse, you will be responsible for collecting and interpreting data for research-related tasks. You must have sound knowledge of medical and scientific terminologies and be comfortable working with potentially hazardous or infectious materials to succeed in your career.
In addition, if you want to be good in your career, you must hone strong problem-solving, decision-making, and communication skills. Your typical job duties can include:
• Conduct physical examination of patients to ensure they aren’t affected in any way so not to affect your study
• Compile and evaluate clinical data
• Work together with statistical consultants and investigators
• Administer medications and observe and document any side effects or efficiency of medications
According to PayScale, the average salary of a research nurse is $74,424 per year.
5. Nurse Manager
Are you looking for a managerial role once you obtain your master’s degree? Then, becoming a nurse manager might be just what you need. As a nurse manager, you will oversee a nursing unit’s day-to-day operations and supervise the nursing staff. Your primary duty is to ensure the patients receive quality care. You must have excellent leadership and communication skills to take your career to the next level. Usually, nurse managers work in hospitals, physician’s offices, nursing homes, etc. A day in the life of a nurse manager can include responsibilities like:
• Set goals and communicate with the staff to ensure everything runs smoothly
• Recruit and train new nurses
• Create a schedule for staff and supervise during the shift
• Ensure the facility complies with rules and regulations
• Pay attention to patient’s concerns and respond to them
The average salary of a nurse manager is $88,562 per year.
6. Clinical Nurse Specialist
Clinical Nurse Specialists are advanced practice nurses who employ their expert knowledge and clinical skills to conduct research and provide patient care. Hospitals, private practices, and clinics are some common work settings examples of these professionals. Strong oral and verbal communication and interpersonal skills are necessary for this job. The daily duties of a CNS include:
• Perform a physical examination of a patient to diagnose illness or ailment
• Evaluate results and develop a specialized treatment plan
• Work together with other healthcare professionals in the facility
• Prescribe medications after consulting with patient care managers
• Supervise and train nursing student staff
As per PayScale, the average salary of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is 493,827 per year.
There is no denying that the nursing career is ever-growing. Thus, professionals in this field usually have an itch to move forward in their careers to provide the best quality patient care. So whether you wish to secure a managerial role in nursing or want to pursue a high-paying nursing specialty, earning an MSN degree has got you covered. An MSN degree helps you expand your knowledge and skillsets, earn high salaries, work better hours, expand your professional network, and offer many benefits.