If you want to work in a field where making a difference is part of the job description, nursing is where you need to be. As a registered nurse with an Associate's degree, you have likely gained valuable work experience in a variety of settings, from nursing homes and hospitals to private clinics and specialty wings. In Massachusetts, nurses are an important part of the communities they serve. For example, WGGB reports on nursing students in Chicopee that worked to support the homeless community, making a strong impact on public health. If you're ready to take the next step in your nursing career, and would like to expand your role within your profession, consider attending an RN-to-MSN program in Massachusetts. You can request information directly from the schools on our site to learn about program specifics.
You may need to break out your Associate's degree transcript and make sure that you meet the prerequisite requirements for an RN-to-MSN bridge program in Massachusetts to begin. These programs tend to require a GPA of at least 3.0, although more competitive programs may be looking for students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. In addition, you may need to meet fairly stringent work experience requirements. At a minimum, you may need at least one year of full-time nursing experience, although more experience may help you get admitted to a program.
The curriculum of your Massachusetts RN to MSN bridge program determines what you learn, what you focus on, and what career you can pursue after graduation. To get basic experience in different areas of advanced nursing, you may take courses like Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Health Assessment. If you choose a nurse practitioner program, you may take courses like Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care, Environments of Nursing Care, and Advanced Pharmacology. Those in nursing education may take courses like Curriculum Development and Dimensions of Nursing Education.
Three years is the average length for an RN-to-MSN program in Massachusetts. If you do not plan on working full-time while completing your degree, you may be able to graduate in as little as two years in an accelerated program. Throughout the course of your education, you can plan on getting over 500 hours of clinical education in various settings, depending upon the focus you choose.
Spending some time looking into nursing grants and scholarships can help you save money on your education expenses or minimize your student debt. Look into scholarships offered by nursing employers, nursing organizations, and government agencies. The Massachusetts Nurses Association offers multiple scholarships each year, including those for specific regions of Massachusetts. Other scholarships are school-specific, like the Dr. Rachel E. Tierney Nursing Scholarship, the Dr. Eileen Hayes Memorial Scholarship, and the Angie L. Brown Memorial Scholarship. If you're interested in a career in senior care, you may wish to apply for scholarships through the Massachusetts Senior Care Association.
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing is the agency responsible for licensing advanced nursing professionals in Massachusetts. If you plan on working as a nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist, you may need to get advanced licensure on top of your registered nurse license.
In Massachusetts, the job outlook for advanced nursing professionals is fairly positive. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net anticipates a 17 percent increase in nurse anesthesia jobs, a job growth rate that is fairly close to the national average. During this time period, O*Net expects job openings for nursing instructors to increase by 34 percent.
Nursing salaries in Massachusetts tend to be significantly higher than the national average; this may be due to an increased cost of living in Massachusetts. Nursing instructors in this state earn an average salary of $75,300 per year (O*Net, 2013). Those who go into nurse anesthesia claim an average annual salary of $151,600 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Nursing is a growing field that may have lots of potential if you are willing to work hard to get ahead. If you want to make a difference in the world and further your health care career, learn more about RN-to-MSN programs by contacting the schools listed on our site.