An MSN is an advanced degree with an enhanced nursing curriculum that can help registered nurses achieve more prestigious positions and leadership roles in the workplace. Students commonly take classes such as Healthcare Policy, Advanced Health Assessment, and Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice in this program. Some of the positions that MSN graduates can obtain are nurse consultant, nurse educator, or advanced nurse practitioner, specializing in a specific medical field such as pediatrics, psychiatry, or gerontology.
MSN nursing online programs can offer students the option of selecting from nurse practitioner specialties, such as family nurse practitioner (FNP), adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP), pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). Some programs can be completed entirely online, so students can continue their career and manage personal responsibilities while pursuing an advanced education. Students can complete clinicals in a location convenient to wherever they’re situated, and they are not required to take the GMAT or GRE to be admitted.
RNs who enjoy direct contact with patients may be concerned that obtaining an MSN will remove them from that primary healthcare role, but many organizations are finding value in having highly trained professionals on the floor. For candidates who prefer that aspect of the job, obtaining a further degree won’t separate them from patients but will allow them to provide more comprehensive care.