Minnesota is a unique state, with an equal mix of both large urban and rural areas. This means that every part of the state has its own set of health care needs and standards. As a registered nurse, you may already play a major role in health care in Minnesota. Recent changes in nursing legislation may make this the ideal time to further your career with an RN-to-MSN degree program in MN. The Austin Daily Herald reports that advanced nurse practitioners now enjoy full scope of practice rights, improving Minnesotans' access to health care. Whether you want to contribute to nursing through research, leadership, or advanced practice, an Master’s degree in Nursing may get you there. Contact the schools you see that offer RN to MSN bridge programs in Minnesota to learn more.
One of the most important decisions you can make as an RN-to-MSN student is which nursing specialty you go into. This determines which courses you take as a graduate student, which careers are open to you after graduation, and how many clinical hours you must complete. Some of the career paths that require the most clinical hours include nurse midwifery, nurse anesthesia, and nurse practitioner. Nursing education has fairly strict requirements as well, although it requires you to work in a classroom setting rather than a clinical setting. Nurse administration programs often have the lowest clinical hour requirements.
There are some courses that all graduate nursing students are often required to take. These courses may include Ethical Dimensions for Nursing Practice, Research Methodology, Health Policy and Leadership, and Nursing Science. Other courses give you specific skills in your chosen career path. For example, nursing education students may take Curriculum Design and Evaluation, Innovative Teaching Strategies, and Foundations of Education in Nursing.
Most RN-to-MSN programs in Minnesota do require you to attend school full-time, so you should plan on spending at least 12 hours a week in class while earning this degree. In accelerated programs, you may attend courses year-round. Most MSN bridge programs are designed to be completed in about three years.
Minnesota has a fairly strong support network for aspiring advanced practice nurses, which includes grants and scholarships. Spending time looking for grants and applying early can help you earn funds for your educational endeavors and minimize student debt. The Minnesota Nurses Association funds a number of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate scholarships. As a nursing student, you may wish to join the Minnesota Student Nurses' Association. This group offers financial support to nursing students in different specialties and at different levels. The Minnesota Board of Nursing offers scholarships to those who plan on going into nursing education.
As a Master’s prepared nursing professional in Minnesota, you may earn a wide range of salaries. Nursing instructors report an average salary in the state of $63,600 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse anesthetists have the highest average salary in Minnesota, as is the case in much of the country (O*Net, 2013). They earn an average of $157,900 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Job growth rates in Minnesota are promising across the board. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net anticipates a 6 percent increase in nurse education jobs. The fastest-growing nursing specialty is nurse practitioner, in which O*Net anticipates a 26 percent increase in job openings.
Prior to beginning your career in advanced nursing, you may need to consult the Minnesota Board of Nursing. You need at least a registered nursing license, but in certain cases, you may need an advanced license. Nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives are all held to higher licensing standards in this state.
If you want to contribute to the nursing community of Minnesota, earning an MSN may be the way to do it. Your advanced education can hold other nurses to higher care standards, advance the field's understanding of nursing research, and encourage higher education for other nurses. Learn more about RN-to-MSN programs in Minnesota by contacting the schools you see on our site that offer this route.