By earning your MSN degree, you could make a positive impact on primary care and the nursing profession as a whole. Montana has opportunities available that are waiting to be filled by ambitious, motivated people who are ready to make advanced nursing their career choice. Find out how you can enjoy a rewarding career as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) by earning your MSN degree through one of Montana's graduate nursing programs.
You can find a list of all the master’s degrees in nursing in Montana on our site and request information directly from the schools you are interested in to begin.
Montana is one of the largest states in the United States, yet many areas are still medically underserved. For Montanans living in rural areas, this makes access to primary care much more limited when compared to their urban counterparts. According to the 2012 report conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, Montana has 12 counties without a primary care physician and 7 counties without hospitals.
An uneven balance of distribution reveals that 37 percent of all of Montana's primary care physicians practice in only three cities. Furthermore, on a national scale, only 2 percent of medical students plan to practice as primary care physicians. Montana's need for primary care physicians can be met by highly qualified and well trained advanced practice registered nurses to fill the void created by the primary care shortage.
The statistics point to a growing need for APRNs in Montana. As healthcare reform allows greater access to the uninsured, the need for primary care is expected to increase within the next few years. To become an APRN in Montana, you are required to have a master's degree in nursing. There are four main direct care specializations you can choose from: nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist and clinical nurse specialist.
- A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who provides high-quality healthcare services that include treating a wide range of health problems as well as promoting wellness. They also focus on disease prevention and health education counseling. Many nurse practitioners specialize in the areas of adult, family, and geriatric health.
- A nurse midwife is an advanced practice registered nurse who strictly focuses on women and infants. They are specially trained to provide care during pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, and throughout the care of the newborn.
- A nurse anesthetist is an advanced practice registered nurse who administers anesthesia services as well as provides patient care. Their area of practice covers pre-op care, education and evaluation, anesthesia during surgical procedures and post-anesthesia care.
- A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice registered nurse who provides services of expertise. Although they are similar to nurse practitioners, they focus in a specialized area. Their area of clinical expertise may be in: a population, a setting, a disease or medical sub-specialty, a type of care or a type of health problem.
Your current education level will determine what masters nursing program you are eligible to take. If you have your associate’s degree in nursing, then an RN to MSN program may be the program for you. If you currently have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field, then a direct entry MSN program with accelerated coursework can help you earn your RN license as well as put you on the fast track to receiving your MSN degree. The traditional method is for those who have earned their BSN and are following the normal sequence of degree advancement. Most schools now offer online courses to better meet your needs. A typical time range for completing your MSN degree is around 3 years.
Master’s in Nursing Courses in Montana
With each MSN specialization, you will be focusing on classes that pertain to your area of study. Below is an example graduate degree course outline for an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner:
- Theory and Research Application
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Advanced Assessment
- Advanced Nursing Role
- Psychiatric Management
- Pediatric Management
- Invasive Skills
- Acute Care Pediatric
- Primary Pediatric
- Complex Pediatric
- Advanced Practicum
Certifying Your Specialization
After receiving your degree, you must be certified in your specialty by an accredited national nursing organization in order to practice. Check out the Montana Board of Nursing Accepted APRN Certifying Bodies and Exams to find out what organization is acceptable for receiving your certification.
In addition to a rewarding career a graduate degree also comes with the potential to earn an increased income. Those practicing as advanced practice registered nurses generally make over a $100,000 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual pay for a nurse anesthetist is $151,090.
Keep in mind that there are several different routes you can take as you earn your Master’s degree in Nursing, along with online options for study. Take some time to review the schools listed on our site that offer MSN programs in Montana and submit a request for information to the schools and programs you want to know more about.