A Master of Science in nursing is a highly advanced level postgraduate program for registered nurses that is typically considered a graduate degree program for nursing educators and administrators and is also considered an entry-level degree for professional nurse managers and clinical nurse leaders. The degree will prepare a nursing student to pursue a professional career as a licensed nurse manager, clinical nurse leader, or health care policy adviser. The coursework also prepares the student to be prepared for the rigors of nursing school and to work as a faculty member in an accredited nursing program.
The Master's degree in nursing combines theoretical study with practical experience through classroom teaching and clinical training. In general, nursing programs require four years of undergraduate study, followed by a minimum of two years of clinical experience and a specific number of clinical rotations in order to graduate. Students can complete the master's program in less time than many traditional bachelor's degrees by taking an accelerated program that allows them to complete the requirements in about a year.
In recent years, many degree programs have been developed to meet the needs of the changing workforce. In fact, with more nurses entering the workforce and employers requiring more nurse competencies, there is a greater demand for additional training in nursing management. As a result, it is common for a Master's degree in nursing to double or even triple the salary potential of the nurse. In addition, nurses with Masters degrees in nursing often find jobs with higher salaries and better benefits as well.
MSN programs are usually focused on particular areas within the field of nursing. In some cases, students complete one of the Master's degree options in nursing administration while completing clinical experience and supervised clinical rotations in nursing. In other cases, students may complete the master's degree in nursing while remaining a licensed nurse (LVN) to work in a hospital, clinic, or assisted living or retirement home setting where the nurse may be responsible for patient care. In most cases, however, MSN programs offer students the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree in any area of nursing, but the master's program is typically the most comprehensive.
If you are interested in pursuing a Master's degree in nursing administration, you should consider a program in education, business, nursing research, nursing business, or allied health. You may want to choose a program that takes a special interest in a specific area of nursing such as geriatric care, critical care, pediatric or neonatal nursing, or family practice nursing, or public health nursing. These programs will give you a broad knowledge of nursing education.
Another program focuses on a particular area such as nutrition. Nutritionists are often required to take continuing education courses every four years and participate in an approved internship program as part of their education. The nurse can then enter a master's program in nutrition. Courses in nutrition counseling include courses, laboratory techniques in nutrition, and health and human nutritional sciences, dietetics and nutrition. Continuing education courses also cover topics such as health care law, ethics, nursing theory and professional nursing practices.
In the Master's degree in nursing management program, students complete modules on management, research and evaluation, leadership and supervision, and research methods. Courses in management include research methods, financial planning, and human resources, patient and family support, and organization and leadership skills. Leadership modules cover leadership skills, marketing, and management theories such as management of staff and patients, as well as the administration of clinical practice.
Master's degree programs in nursing management generally involve clinical rotations in which nurses work under the supervision of certified nurses (CRN). Clinical rotations are held at a hospital, nursing care facility, or an affiliated doctor or physician's office that is approved by the State Board of . . . . . . Nursing Education. During clinical rotations, nurses help CRN's plan and implement nursing care plans for patients in need of continuing medical care and supervise clinical nursing services.
Students who complete master's degree programs in nursing management take courses such as organizational behavior, conflict management, sales techniques, and decision-making skills, as well as clinical skills and supervision. The clinical component of MSN nursing programs involves the completion of an internship in a hospital, clinic, or other approved facility that employs nursing professionals who provide healthcare for a period of time. To become licensed RNs, students must pass the state board examination and pass the licensing exam that is offered by the State Board of Nursing Education.
MSN nursing students may also complete a specialized Masters in Nursing Management Degree if they wish to specialize in nursing research and development. Such programs are not intended for those who wish to work in a clinical setting such as an inpatient nursing facility. Although these programs are designed for research purposes, students are expected to perform clinical nursing duties, but may choose to specialize in research if they so choose.