Working in the nursing field requires a great deal of responsibility and dedication to patient care. In the course of your career, you may have wondered what it would be like to work in research, education, or to take more of an active role in patient care. In New Hampshire, there are RN-to-MSN programs that can help you transition from your role as a registered nurse to the role of an advanced practice nurse. With new nursing schools getting accredited throughout the state, it's likely that New Hampshire's need for graduate-level nurses will continue to increase.
Thanks to your nursing degree, you already have a solid foundation of knowledge that can help you in an RN-to-MSN program. There are two steps to completing this program: first, you must complete the BSN requirements by taking general education courses and taking high-level nursing courses. Once you've met these requirements, you must take the MSN courses that are required for your specialty.
In the first year of your three-year program, you may take courses like Leadership in Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice, and Communication in the Nursing Field. Core classes you may take for your MSN include Health Policy, Nursing Science and Evidence-Based Practice, and Advanced Human Physiology. Your specific curriculum depends on which specialty you choose. Options may include nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse educator, or nurse administrator. Courses you may be able to take include Clinical Nursing Leadership, Promoting Quality Management, Epidemiology in a Clinical Setting, and Health Care Systems and Leadership.
MSN programs in New Hampshire tend to end with a capstone project, a thesis, or a significant clinical experience. Upon graduating, you should have over 600 clinical hours completed. If you study in an administrative field, more weight may be given to your research or capstone project than to clinical hours.
By networking with others in the nursing field and exploring your financial aid options, you may be able to get a considerable amount of money set aside for your education. The New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association awards the Claire Martin Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to four students each school year. The Foundation for Seacoast Health is another great resource for nursing scholarships in New Hampshire. Scholarships are typically worth $1,500 to $3,500. Scholarships of $1,000 to $5,000 are available through the New Hampshire Health Care Association.
After you complete your education and have your Master's degree in nursing, you must meet the advanced licensing standards set out by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. You should already have a valid RN license from your previous degree. However, you must complete a thorough application and testing process to get your advanced practice license.
Overall, the job outlook is excellent for MSN graduates in New Hampshire. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net predicts a 21 percent increase in job openings for nurse anesthetists. They expect to see a 24 percent increase in job openings for nurse managers during this time (O*Net, 2012). Nurse practitioners may see a 31 percent jump in job openings, while nurse instructors may experience a 32 percent increase (O*Net, 2012).
In general, salaries for New Hampshire nurses are slightly higher than the national average. On the low end of the pay scale, nurse instructors earn an average salary of $59,800 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse practitioners claim a median income of $96,600 annually (O*Net, 2013).
On top of increasing your earning potential and helping you experience career satisfaction, getting an MSN can make you an influential figure in New Hampshire's nursing community. Whether you contribute through practice, leadership, research, or education, you can put your education to good use in this field.