Texas health care employers understand the value of a well-trained workforce, which is why many places encourage their nurses to go back to school to further their education. You may have used your BSN to get lots of valuable experience in the nursing workforce, and now you're ready to take the next step in your career. Earning an MSN in Texas has many benefits, both professional and personal, and there are a variety of options to choose from. Contact the Texas nursing schools that offer Master’s degree programs today to learn more about how you can advance your career through higher education.
When you take a look at the changing state of health care in the United States, you can see why an advanced nursing degree can be beneficial. The Texas Tribune notes that the state has a burgeoning doctor shortage that is difficult to fix. One proposed solution is the increased hiring of nurse practitioners to fill essential primary care roles. Though there are some limits to the scope of practice of nurse practitioners in Texas, they can perform many of the same services as medical doctors. By becoming a nurse practitioner and taking on a position at a hospital or clinic, you may be able to improve the standard of care in Texas, filling the gap between the need and supply of qualified primary care providers.
According to Texas CARES, which maintains statistics on Texas job growth, the job outlook is positive for nursing graduates. In coming years, they expect a significant increase in job openings, especially for nurse educators. If you can see yourself working at a two-year or four-year college, this may be the path for you!
Regardless of which graduate-level career path you choose, Texas may have the professional support network you need. The Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists is a lobbying group that helps to further the careers of nurse anesthetists. Members can also attend networking and education events. Texas Nurse Practitioners aims to meet many goals, including increasing standards for nurse practitioners, helping NPs move into positions of leadership, and supporting legislation that helps nurse practitioners.
As you begin looking into MSN programs in Texas, you want to make sure that you pick a program that's approved by the Texas Board of Nursing. This agency oversees the curricula and instruction methods of different nursing schools to ensure that students get the proper education. Their standards ensure that you get enough training to earn advanced licensure in your area of study.
Your nursing school will likely provide you with a list of learning outcomes that they use to determine your success as a student. Become very familiar with these goals and strive to meet them throughout your education! You must demonstrate competency in your chosen advanced nursing role, further the field of nursing through scholarship and research, and be capable of taking on leadership roles in advanced nursing roles.
Your Texas MSN program’s curriculum is meant to prepare you for the duties and tasks of your career role, as well as meeting the learning outcomes of your program. Early on, you may take classes like Nursing Theory and Research, Advanced Pharmacology and Pathophysiology, and Advanced Assessment. These classes get you ready for more intensive courses like Psychiatric Nursing Management, Clinical Skills for APNs, and Family Nursing.
As a Texas graduate-level nursing student, you can apply for scholarships offered locally, statewide, and nationwide. Looking into a variety of financial aid opportunities can help you get as much money for college as possible. The Texas Nurses Association District 5 awards scholarships to nursing students in central Texas. The Good Samaritan Foundation awards the Excellence in Nursing Awards and other scholarships. If you work for a health care employer, consider looking into scholarships offered by your employer. For example, Methodist Health System awards the Methodist Health System Nursing Scholarship.
The salary you earn as a master’s prepared nurse in Texas is largely dependent on which career path you choose and what setting you work in. According to O*Net, nurse instructors in Texas earn an average salary of $59,100 per year. Those who go into nursing management and leadership claim a median salary of $87,600 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse practitioners in Texas may earn slightly higher salaries, as they have an average salary of $99,300 annually (O*Net, 2013). O*Net reports that nurse anesthetists are the highest-paid nursing professionals in Texas with an average annual salary of $154,900.
Contact the Texas nursing schools that offer MSN programs to learn more about your options for study, as well as costs, curriculum and career tracks. Earning your Master’s in Nursing in Texas is essential to improving healthcare in the state, and can strengthen the nursing profession along the way.