For individuals wanting to pursue a career in nursing, there are plenty of different paths you can take to reach your desired end result. To become a Registered Nurse (RN), you can get an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN), and then you just have to pass your certification.
However, if you want to further your career and have more opportunities and responsibilities within the healthcare field, you may want to pursue of Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). With the help of an MSN program, you’ll have more choices and opportunities to grow as a nurse.
Bridging from an RN to an MSN is a big commitment. It will take more years of schooling and studying and may even require more clinical hours. Luckily, there are opportunities for an MSN bridge program that can combine your BSN and your MSN, which is helpful for nurses that are starting with a nursing degree or associate’s degree. If you have big goals and aspirations for your nursing career, this may be a great choice for you.
Getting your master’s degree makes you qualified for so many positions and you can now achieve this goal without spending too many more years in school. Let’s look at the reasons why an MSN degree is important and how bridge programs can help you get where you’re going professionally.
An MSN Degree Opens Doors to New Careers
As with any career path, more education gives you more opportunities. The same is true within the field of nursing. Holding that master’s degree can help you become a nurse practitioner, focus on research and development, or even teach future nurses about the field of healthcare. If you want to take on leadership roles or see progress in your medical career, this is the logical step to take. Here are a few of the doors that will be open to you with an MSN.
You can focus more on research.
A number of MSN graduates will go on to practice with patients, while others will choose to continue their pursuits in the research field. If getting to test hypotheses and focus on the science of healthcare sounds like your cup of tea, this may be a good path for you. It’s amazing the discoveries that can be made with the help of some critical thinkers like nurses.
You’ll have the opportunity to shape other industries as well as your own. For example, the full face respirator is a mask designed to keep out dangerous molecules for individuals who work in dangerous environments. This is an incredibly useful safety tool that was developed with the help of medical professionals. Getting your MSN can lead to opportunities to aid industries just like this.
Pick the demographic you want to treat.
Nursing is a huge field that covers many areas of healthcare. With your MSN, you’ll have your choice of what specialization you’ll want to focus on. Many individuals will become nurse practitioners and practice primary care or emergency care. You can even choose the age range you want to work with.
From family nurse practitioners to geriatric care. Maybe you want to work with Alzheimer’s patients and learn more about Alzheimer’s plaque and how it relates to early on-set dementia. Your research skills and critical thinking will help you understand how to help these patients in an empathetic, caring way.
Spend more time with pharmaceuticals.
Another fun perk of having an MSN and operating as a nurse practitioner (NP) is that you have more freedom to prescribe medications and offer treatment plans. Around half of the states in the U.S. allow NPs to prescribe pills and the other half just needs a physician’s ultimate approval. This can give you a better idea of what medications are out there to help your patients.
You may even be able to recommend dietary supplements and vitamins to help with their daily quality of life. Consult a good supplement manufacturing company to find the best tablets, powders, gummies, and capsules to recommend so your patients can feel happy and healthy. Supplements are the future for feeling your best when food isn’t giving you all the nutrients you need.
Have the opportunity to educate future nurses.
An MSN gives you the opportunity to further your own career, but it also allows you to help the careers of others. With an MSN, you would be qualified and able to work as a nurse educator and bring your knowledge of the healthcare field to young, curious minds. You can teach and practice medicine at the same time if you desire to do so. This is a great path for people who enjoy mentoring and shaping young minds.
Now that it’s clear how you can benefit from an MSN, it’s time to start figuring out how you get there. Traditional schooling for your bachelor’s degree can take four or more years, and a master’s program is typically a few more years and many more credit hours. Bridge programs combine your schooling so you can get both degrees in a fraction of the time and at a much lower cost.
With an RN to MSN bridge, you’ll be able to take the next step in your education while forging your own MSN pathway. The end result remains the same, but how you get there will be smoother. If you’re a passionate learner who is eager to get your MSN diploma, this may be the best course of action for you.
Why should you combine your degrees?
The biggest benefit of the bridge program is the efficiency. The traditional route will require you to get two separate degrees at different schools which usually takes around 44 months, or four years. With the bridge program, you get advanced practice in a more streamlined way. The total program takes about 36 months with credit hours and clinical time.
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Opting for a bridge program can also save you a lot of money. Rather than paying for two programs, you’re just paying for one. You can save around $10,000 in tuition alone. Getting a quality education that saves your finances seems like a no-brainer as you strive for your MSN degree.