Nursing is an excellent field. For those that can take the stresses and overcome the challenges associated both with the job and the process of becoming a nurse, few things can be so rewarding. Registered nurses are always in demand, and having your RN can open up a lot of options for employment. Many take it a step further, however, and seek a Masters in Nursing. This is a big commitment that isn’t right for everyone, but it comes with certain reward that many find attractive.
Deciding to pursue an MSN requires some frank analysis of your circumstances and needs.
First, ask yourself if you have time. If you’re already an RN, trying to juggle education with your job might be close to impossible. There are few fields that take as much energy as nursing on a daily basis, so taking on classes as well may not be ideal. However, it has become possible to go from RN to MSN online in recent years as online degrees grow more widespread. This is an excellent option for those that cannot juggle classroom visits.
Next, ask yourself if you’re willing to take on the associated responsibilities. Having a Masters in Nursing allows you to take a broader variety of roles within a hospital setting. Those with an MSN degree are far more likely to be selected for leadership positions and handled a much greater degree of bureaucratic responsibility. This may be attractive to those that have a knack for organization, but for others it can be harrowing. If you aren’t willing to pursue such responsibilities, an MSN may not be right for you. However, overcoming these challenges is also something that an MSN program will teach you. If you have doubts that pertain to the know-how, consider doing some research into the curriculum to see if you’ll learn what you feel you need to know.
Lastly, ask if it’s something you’re willing to commit to. Becoming an MSN isn’t a fast process. The most efficient programs project a 24-month turnaround from RN to MSN. This means you’re in for the long haul, likely while you’re already juggling a nursing job.
While there are definitely challenges associated with making the jump from RN to MSN, it’s eminently worth it for those that find themselves capable. Whether you seek traditional classes or an online program, being certified with a Masters in Nursing can open up exciting new career opportunities and make you more desirable to employers.