Is RN to MSN Programs the Right Choice for You?

RN to MSN programs are exclusively designed for a registered nurse (RN) to gain a master’s degree (MS or MSN) focusing on nurse administrator and nurse educator. The program can be completed within 3 years time and is offered in a traditional classroom setting or an online nursing degree program.

With this program, an RN enhances skills and knowledge to become leaders in the field of nursing. The difference between the education attained by an RN and an MSN is that an MSN has similar duties in the field of medicine similar to that of a medical physician. Additionally, what an MSN can do with regard to patient care exceeds even that of an RN.

Different roles to consider once a nurse attain a master’s degree. It can be a nurse practitioner who is trained to diagnose and manage common medical conditions including chronic illness; a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist who specializes in the administration of anesthesia and who maintains a close working relationship with surgeons; a Certified Nurse Midwife who provides health care specifically to women before, during, after birth as well as their newborn babies; and a Clinical Nurse Specialist who is a researcher, an educator, a health care provider, an administrator, and a consultant.

In US, there were studies resulting to save about $8.75 billion annually if an MSN is given a chance to replace physicians. Moreover, the increase demands for MSN to provide health care in rural areas increases due to fewer doctors available in the area. Obviously, a nurse with an MSN degree is competent to work with doctors and provides quality health care.

RN to MSN programs are offered online as well as in colleges and universities. An RN can choose to enroll through an online nursing degree programs or a traditional classroom setting. Online studies are mostly preferred by RNs who has busy work schedules and have family responsibilities. They enjoy the freedom of slow paced studies.

A traditional classroom setting can take a qualified nursing student a year or 2 to be accepted in the program due to capacity shortages. Also, some nurses quit or postpone their studies due to inflexible course schedules. Still, some students prefer traditional setting due to live lectures and who can manage time.

Usually required credentials for admission include college transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, and scores taken from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). One thing to keep in mind is that all colleges, universities and schools of nursing have different requirements for each student.

Financial aid and scholarships are offered by some colleges and universities to qualified students.

The average salary of an RN is approximately $43,000 to $63,000 while a nurse practitioner has a salary of $66,000 to $90,000.

Find a school that is approved and has received full accreditation from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (AACN-CCNE) before choosing the best school. Endless opportunity awaits those who will be taking RN to MSN programs.

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