If you’ve been in the nursing profession for a while and have always worked in the same environment, you might be looking for something new. In that case, going for your master’s could be a great idea. Thousands of nurses every year decide to make the jump, and many will tell you that it’s one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. You might be aware of some of the benefits of getting a master’s, but there might be others you may not have considered. Below we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why long-time nurses should consider studying for their master’s degree.
It’s easier than ever
With online classes, nurses can now get an advanced education from wherever they are in the country or the world. While there will be some clinical requirements, most of the work will be done online. This makes it easier to combine your studies with work.
Some classes allow you to attend classes on your own time. While you won’t get some of the benefits of online learning, like direct communication with teachers and other students, you will be able to fit your classes around your schedule. You also have the option of studying part-time in the evenings or on the weekends which will alleviate your workload. Nothing stops you from taking a lighter schedule at work and dedicating yourself to your studies full-time either.
You get to work with the people you want
Working on the floor might be fun for a while, but not knowing what’s going to happen next can get tough. When you get your master’s degree, you get to specialize in an area that you want. An MSN program could allow you to move into a field like family nursing, for instance. You could find a great accredited online MSN program that will allow you to work in a clinic setting. You could even run your own clinic if you want to, depending on your state.
One of the reasons why experienced nurses love family nursing so much is because of the close connection they have with the people they serve. They get to follow some of their patients from childhood to adulthood, or from adulthood to old age. They get to see patients as people and have a real relationship with them instead of dealing with constant loss. This alone could allow you to extend your career for many years and ease your way into retirement.
Let’s not kid ourselves here, one of the biggest benefits of getting a master’s is how much more money you can stand to make. It’s not uncommon for nurses with a master’s to make well over $100,000 per year. Registered nurses make about $70,000 per year on average, but nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and other advanced nurses make over $110,000, so that’s a significant difference.
Work in academia
The US is in dire need of nurse educators. If you’ve been in the field for a while, this could make you a perfect candidate. All you would need would be to get your master’s, and tons of opportunities will open up. Nurse educators have one of the best jobs in nursing and it could be very rewarding after all those years of tough service.
You’ll get to enjoy fixed schedules, long vacations, and work in a stress-free setting. Then comes the satisfaction of helping thousands of nurses find their calling and having some of them come back to thank you for what you did for them. This is another great way to cap a career and make things a little bit easier on yourself.
Move into leadership
If you have always felt like you were made to lead, this could be a great opportunity to work as a nursing administrator. Leadership roles pay a lot more than regular nursing jobs, and you won’t have to be so close to the action anymore. This is a great option if you want a change of pace, but still want to be involved. This is also great if you have natural administrative skills, are great at problem-solving, and have a great sense of organization.
You might have heard about some fun position opening somewhere but saw that they privileged those with advanced credentials. But with a master’s, doors could blow right open for you. Whether you want to work as a rescue nurse, cruise nurse, or to work on a resort, you’ll be a prime candidate if you have a master’s degree. All those dream jobs won’t have to be dreams anymore and you could enjoy some of the best positions the profession has to offer.
If you’re feeling adventurous, know that there are plenty of opportunities for those who are ready to move. You could work with organizations like Doctors without Borders or the Peace Corps, for instance. You could help unroll public health initiatives or work as an observer. Or you could help provide basic healthcare to the populations that are the most in need.
Work on research and advocacy
Another great reason to get a masters is that you’ll be able to work on future treatments and do some research. Some of your research might get published and bring on massive changes. It can be very fulfilling to know that you worked on research that helped eradicate serious diseases, or significantly decrease mortality rates.
Others decide to move into advocacy. Having a master’s could give you lots of credibility and will allow you to get a more complete view of the profession. You will then be able to promote changes through viable solutions. Some decide to work to improve patient healthcare, and others go into public health. You could also help improve working conditions for your nurses or help change certain procedures.
These are all reasons why all experienced nurses should consider getting their master’s. It could be a great way to earn more but to also learn some valuable skills that could make you a perfect candidate for high-demand positions.