One of the biggest benefits to starting a career in the nursing field is the multitude of ways in which you can use your education to continue furthering your career across the profession. Whether you work as a specialty nurse and want to increase your scope of practice or if you'd like to explore an entirely different area of nursing, earning a Master's degree in nursing may be the next step in your career. Take some time to review the Massachusetts nursing schools that offer MSN programs listed on our site, and contact those you are interested in to learn more.
If you're going to pursue a graduate degree, nursing is a choice that makes good sense. Massachusetts Labor Market Information notes that hospitals are expected to be the fastest-growing employers through 2016. In addition, management is one of the more rapidly-growing sectors of the healthcare industry, but often requires a graduate degree. If you're considering becoming a nurse manager or clinical leader, you may have a wide range of opportunities in nearby hospitals after earning your Master’s degree in nursing.
Have you ever sat through a nursing course and thought about how you would teach that course to new students? If you long to teach new nurses and help them develop confidence in their skills, nurse education may be a great MSN specialty for you. The Boston Globe reports on a local initiative to boost nursing programs and increase enrollment. To meet growing student numbers and expectations, these facilities may need to hire instructors and educators.
The Telegram indicates that Massachusetts has a new nurse practitioner program, once again underlining the importance of graduate-level education in nursing. The Wicked Local Dedham expects a huge shortage of graduating nurses in years to come. As a result, experts note that schools are looking for ways to increase their need-based aid.
At this level of nursing, there are many resources and professional organizations for new and experienced professionals. A recent story from Insurance News Net tells of the Massachusetts Nurses Association's decision to join with National Nurses United. This may lead to better protection and advocacy for local nurses. The Massachusetts Association of Nurse Anesthetists serves CRNA students and working professionals. The Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners supports advanced practice nurses in different areas of work.
Earning an MSN can be a long process, but most nurses think the responsibility and freedom that can result are worth it! If you attend school full-time, it's likely that you'll be able to graduate in about two years. If you attend part-time so that you can continue working, you may spend two to four years in school. You may not be able to start your MSN immediately upon graduating with a BSN, as some Massachusetts nursing schools require one to two years of work experience for admission.
Though you may take courses in nurse leadership, nurse education, nursing research, and advanced nursing care, you'll need to choose one to focus on for the majority of your degree. Each concentration option correlates with a career path, so this is a very important decision to consider when choosing from the MSN programs in Massachusetts.
Some of the broader classes you may take include Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Advances Nursing Roles in Health Care, and Health Policy & Evaluation. From there, you can begin your specialty courses. For example, public health nursing students may take Epidemiology and Health Education, while nursing administration students may take Nursing Informatics and Nursing Management & Administration.
Choosing to earn a degree in a high-demand field may give you the chance to apply for lots of different scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs. Students may apply for scholarships through the Massachusetts Nurses Foundation. The American Nurses Association of Massachusetts offers scholarships like the Ruth Lang Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship and the Arthur L. Davis Publishing Agency Scholarship. For students interested in long-term care, the Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation Scholarship may be an option.
Expected job growth in Massachusetts rivals national averages, which may make this a promising state to work in as an advanced practice nurse. Per O*Net, job openings for nurse anesthetists are expected to increase by 17 percent between 2012 and 2022. Demand is expected to be greatest for nurse educators, for whom job openings may increase by 34 percent in the same time frame O*Net, (2012).
There's also a wide range of reported salaries in this state. O*Net reports that nurse instructors earn an average of $75,300 per year. In this state, nurse anesthetists have a median salary of $151,600 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Be sure to request information from all of the schools you are interested in to get started on making a decision.