If you have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and healthcare is your passion, then an advanced nursing degree is something worth considering. The demand for nursing has continued to grow over the years. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026. The demand is projected to grow, mainly due to the aging population’s increased need for healthcare services.
If you are still contemplating the value of a master’s degree in nursing, read on to learn about some of its top benefits.
The greatest value of a master’s degree in nursing is that it allows for specialization in the field of your choice. While a bachelor’s degree helps you learn how to give basic nursing care and implement orders, a master’s degree enables you to delve deeper into a specific subject. For example, you could choose to focus on leadership roles in the specialization of mental health, and a master’s degree in nursing could help in qualifying for employment opportunities in this area.
A Gateway to Teaching Assignments
According to AACN’s (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) report on 2016-2017 Enrollment and Graduate Programs in Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away over 64,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2016. One of the main reasons for this was an insufficient number of qualified faculty. After earning an advanced nursing degree, you could choose to become a nurse educator, where you can assume the role of a mentor, who helps others just beginning their career in the field of nursing.
Most nursing degree holders continue to gain knowledge and work toward greater mastery. Many whom aspire to be PhD’s in their area of interest. Obtaining a PhD would mean you would be able to contribute to research areas and work with minimal supervision. You can enroll in a PhD program only if you hold a Master of Science in Nursing or another master’s degree in the healthcare field.
While not everyone will go on to enroll in a PhD program, the fact that healthcare industry jobs are expanding due to the increasing need for healthcare, leads to a greater need for nurses in management roles. A master’s degree is needed to fill the requirements for these roles.
Many master’s degree programs focus on creating leaders. This means that nurses with a master’s degree could continue to grow in various roles within the hospital – right from mentor roles to management. They would be expected to handle coordination and communication as well. Nurses with a specialization are also considered important decision makers and stakeholders in policy matters. These diverse roles help nurses gain a better view of hospital operations and go beyond caring for their patients.
Better Work/Life Balance and Flexibility
Once you earn a master’s degree, your work hours could improve too! The working hours of average registered graduate nurses are intense. They are on their feet for an average of 10-12 hours a day. With a master’s degree, you are eligible for management positions, many of which work on an average of 40 hours a week. With optimum working hours, you will get more time with your family as well.
You Can Study Online – Continue to Earn While You Learn
Many colleges today offer online courses in nursing. It is beneficial for nurses with a bachelor’s degree seeking to advance their careers without having to leave their jobs. These online courses, however, need a lot of dedication, commitment and time management.
WCU (West Coast University) offers an online program in nursing education and is institutionally accredited by WSCUC1 (WASC Senior College and University Commission). Our online nursing education programs are programmatically accredited by CCNE2 (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education). Contact Us today to learn more about our online master's programs.
1 WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, California 94501, 510-748-9001, www.wascsenior.org
2 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 887-6791, http://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE