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Why Should I Get a Master's Degree in Nursing?

Earning a Master of Science in Nursing can improve your nursing career.

Whether you’re already a nurse or are simply considering enrolling in nursing school, you’ve likely heard that the U.S. is facing an ongoing nursing shortage.1 But what’s the best way to take advantage? Should you become a registered nurse (RN) or should you go further?

If you want to put yourself in position for the best nursing careers, then going further in your education is the right call. Specifically, earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN degree) can help you get ahead. Here are a few reasons why you should consider earning one.


An MSN Degree Prepares You to Be a Leader

When you complete a master’s in nursing program, you can come away with more than just advanced nursing skills. You can come away with leadership skills. In your program, you’ll learn how to positively influence the quality of patient care, develop innovations and apply them to healthcare practices, and use education to lead other nurses and improve the overall health of patients and communities. In short, an MSN program can prepare you to be on the forefront of healthcare.

In nursing, you can also learn from a leader. Walden University has the largest number of graduates—Walden is No. 1 in Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduates in the United States.2

An MSN Degree Opens a Lot of Career Possibilities

Although it’s a post-graduate degree, a master of science in nursing is considered a mandatory nursing degree for a number of the best nursing careers, including nurse educator and nurse practitioner. It can also help you advance to managerial and other leadership positions throughout the nursing field. Some of the most common jobs held by those with an MSN degree include

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nurse educator
  • Family nurse practitioner
  • Mental health nurse
  • Nursing faculty
  • Administrative nurse faculty
  • Nursing instructor
  • Patient educator
  • Staff development manager
  • Staff educator
  • Continuing education specialist
  • Clinical nurse educator
  • Clinical supervisor
  • Consultant
  • Case manager  
  • Pediatric nurse

An MSN Degree Allows You to Specialize

There is more than one type of master’s degree in nursing. Many of the top nursing schools allow you to specialize in the type of nursing you most want to practice. Common specialties include:

You Can Earn a Good Living With an MSN Degree

Because an MSN degree can help nurses gain advanced skills and leadership abilities, many hospitals actively seek out MSN nurses and pay them well. For example, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners currently earn over $117,000 a year on average and employment in these occupations is expected to increase by 45% between 2019 and 2029, a rate that’s much faster than the national average for all occupations.3

Earning an MSN Degree Is More Convenient Than You Think

Thanks to online learning, you don’t have to take a pause from your nursing career in order to earn an MSN degree. That’s because, at an online nursing school, you can complete the majority of your MSN program from wherever you have internet access, allowing you to avoid the hassles of driving to a campus and being away from home. Additionally, a master’s in nursing online program will allow you to take your classes at whatever time of day works best for you. Instead of rearranging your work schedule to fit your education, you can arrange your education to fit your work schedule.

If you’re already an RN, online MSN programs offer yet another advantage in the form of RN to MSN degree tracks. Rather than earning your bachelor’s first, an RN to MSN online program gives you the freedom to move straight from an RN to a master’s degree.

If you want to take advantage of the best nursing opportunities, earning an MSN degree is the right choice. And the convenience of online education can make it possible.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing online degree program. Learn from the leader in Master of Science in Nursing graduates2 while expanding your career options. With Walden, you can earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

2Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Collected using Burning Glass Technologies. Retrieved February 2020, using CIP code 51.38 (Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research, and Clinical Nursing). Includes 2017–18 provisional data.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,