After using your associate's degree in nursing to get experience in the nursing field and develop your practical skills, you may be in a good position to look into RN-to-MSN bridge programs in Nebraska. These programs may open up many new career options to you, including nurse practitioner, nurse administrator, and nurse educator. With Nebraska having some of the most advanced containment centers in the country, it may be a great place for those who want to further their nursing education. RN-to-MSN bridge programs give you the option of completing your bachelor-level and master-level coursework in one degree program.
Completing an RN-to-MSN program generally takes about three years of full-time study. However, since these programs are designed for working nurses, you may be able to complete some of your coursework online or at non-typical class times. The first third of the program focuses on bachelor's degree classes, and the rest of the time is dedicated to your MSN specialty of choice.
Some of the classes you take in this degree program are based in nursing theory and research, as you must be able to apply advanced theories to your practice. Theory courses include Leadership in Nursing, Health Care Systems and Policy, Health Care Informatics, and Nursing Scholarship. These courses go beyond the level of an RN or BSN degree, since they require a deeper understanding of issues in this field.
Other courses focus on the practical skills you need to thrive as a graduate-level nurse. These courses depend on the specialty you've chosen. If you go into a clinical specialty, practical classes may put you in the hospital, a clinic, or another medical setting. If you study nurse education, you may go into the classroom to work with undergraduate students. From beginning to end, your degree program may require well over 600 clinical hours.
Financial aid is a major part of the nursing school application process, particularly since an RN-to-BSN program may take three years or more! Once you get accepted to a nursing program, begin applying for scholarships and grants. Local employers, nursing organizations, and government agencies may be good sources for financial aid. Bryan Health offers scholarships to nursing students. Another great source of scholarship money is the Nebraska Health Care Foundation, which awards scholarships of $500 each to advanced nursing students. The Nebraska Center for Nursing offers scholarships to advanced nursing students, particularly those who wish to address the faculty shortage at Nebraska nursing schools.
As you may expect, getting an advanced nursing degree places additional expectations on you as a nurse. The Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services oversees the Board of Nursing, which administers advanced practice nursing licenses. You must have a valid RN license at the time of application. From there, nurse anesthetists, midwives, practitioners, and clinical specialists must apply for advanced standing. Once you've passed the required tests in your field, you can begin working in your specialty.
Anticipated job outlooks in Nebraska vary widely between careers. Job growth is expected to be slowest for nurse instructors, for whom O*Net anticipates a 9 percent increase in job openings between 2012 and 2022. On the other end of the scale, O*Net expects job openings for nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists to increase by 21 percent during this time frame.
Across the board, nursing salaries in Nebraska are very close to national averages. As is the case in many states, nurse instructors have the lowest average salary of all specialties. In 2013, O*Net reports that they earned an average of $66,000 per year. Nurse Anesthetists, on the other hand, claimed a median income of $139,000 per year in 2013 (O*Net, 2013).
With your advanced nursing degree, you may have a positive influence on Nebraska's nursing industry. A high level of education can lead to higher standards of care, greater implementation of research in care, and a better understanding of what patients need to have an excellent health care experience. To learn more about earning your master’s degree to further your career, contact the schools on our site today!