Nursing has always been an important field in the United States. With recent changes in health care reform, this career path is even more essential. There's more to this field, however, than the care that nurses provide to patients under the supervision of doctors and other care practitioners. Highly-educated nurses are needed in Tennessee to educate new nursing students, carry out care plans, and manage nursing staff. Nursing research is also important in this field; Tennessee Today reports that recent discoveries in nursing research have helped dying patients communicate with their loved ones. If you'd like to use your ADN to start an advanced nursing career, consider an RN-to-MSN bridge program in Tennessee.
RN-to-MSN programs in Tennessee last an average of three years. Many programs require you to study full-time, since they tend to run on an accelerated basis. However, since you have nursing experience and education under your belt already, you may be able to complete some of your coursework online.
Some of the courses you may start with as you begin your MSN curriculum include Theories for Nursing, Nursing Research, Pathophysiology, and Advanced Assessment. These classes are designed to build on your RN education and prepare you for your chosen specialty. Once you complete these classes, you may take the courses that relate to your career path.
Available career paths at the MSN level include nursing leadership, nursing education, nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, and nurse anesthesia. These degree paths have their own course requirements. In a clinical specialty, you may take courses like Primary Healthcare, Advanced Healthcare Assessment, and Pharmacotherapeutics. Those who go into administrative specialties often take courses like Nursing Leadership, Healthcare Finance, and Policy in Healthcare. In a nurse education career path, commonly required courses include Curriculum Development in Nursing, Assessment in Nursing, and Role Development in Nurse Education. In addition to your traditional nursing courses, you will likely have to complete several hundred clinical hours to meet graduation requirements.
In addition to school-specific grants and scholarships in Tennessee, there are many organization-wide and nationwide scholarships that you can consider to help offset your educational expenses. On a governmental level, consider the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. They have a loan repayment option that forgives your loans if you work in Tennessee. The Tennessee Nurses Association is another excellent resource for Tennessee nursing students, providing a range of scholarships each academic year. Through West Tennessee Healthcare, you can apply for several different nursing grants.
The Tennessee Department of Health is responsible for licensing advanced practice nurses in this state. You do not need an advanced practice license in every case. Only if you plan on working as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist, do you need to complete this step. There is an exam for each specialty, and you must pass the appropriate exam before getting your license.
In general, the job outlook is extremely positive for advanced nursing professionals in Tennessee. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net anticipates a 19 percent increase in nursing jobs for nurse managers. The fastest-growing field in this state is advanced nursing care. Through 2022, O*Net expects to see a 36 percent increase in nurse practitioner jobs.
There's a wide range of reported salaries for each MSN-level nursing job. On the low end of this range, nursing instructors earn an average of $54,900 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse anesthetists have the highest reported salaries in Tennessee, with an average annual salary of $136,600 (O*Net, 2013).
It's clear that getting an MSN can help you make the most out of your nursing experience and give you options to further your career. As you explore your options, don't forget that putting extra effort into your education can strengthen the nursing field while helping you reach your full potential.