There are many specialties within the profession of nursing, and the health care industry needs professionals in every single field if it's to run smoothly. Whether you've used your nursing degree to work in an emergency room, a specialty clinic, or another setting, earning an MSN may be a great way for you to further your career. In Washington, there are many benefits to earning a master's degree and becoming a graduate-level nurse. To learn more about your options, contact the nursing schools that offer MSN programs in Washington directly from our site.
The job outlook for Washington nursing professionals is extremely positive. The Washington State Employment Security Department maintains a list of in-demand professions throughout the state. Across Washington, they expect demand to grow for nurse practitioners, nursing instructors, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and health care managers. This may give you much more freedom in your choice of an MSN program, since virtually any program can lead to a promising career path.
In addition, Washington is home to many professional advocacy groups for advanced nursing professionals. The Midwives' Association of Washington State provides multiple services to aspiring nurse midwives, including information on the midwifery model of care, research into midwifery, scholarships, and loan repayment programs. The Washington Association of Nurse Anesthetists hosts educational events and networking events for members. Advanced practice nurses in Washington may join Advanced Registered Practice Nurses United of Washington State, a group that focuses on legislative activity, networking, and continuing education.
Washington has a growing need for those who are willing to work in primary care. The Bellingham Herald reports on Washington's rural doctor shortage, which has left many Washington residents without care. Since nurse practitioners have full practice rights in WA, they can be a powerful tool in helping to solve the primary care shortage.
Nurse education is another promising area of graduate nursing study. As more schools expand their nursing programs and nursing centers offer emergency training to nurses, experienced nurse educators are a huge asset to the field.
Choosing an MSN program is one of the most important steps in this process, since it determines the type of education you get, how quickly you graduate, and what specialty options are available to you. Most MSN programs in Washington only take two years of full-time study, since you must have a BSN prior to starting. Programs that are designed for full-time working nurses may be completed on a part-time basis in three to four years. Specialties differ between schools; commonly-offered choices include nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nursing leadership and education.
Lower-level courses in your curriculum can give you an overview of each specialty area, allowing you to understand what other advanced nurses do and how they fit into the nursing field. These early courses may include Advanced Pharmacology for Nursing Care, Critical Nursing Inquiry, Epidemiological Analysis of Populations at Risk, and Organizational & Systems Leadership in Nursing.
From there, curricula split off into different areas of concentration. In a clinical concentration, you may take courses that focus on the population you serve and the skills you'll use. In an administrative specialty, you may take courses in leadership theory, educational techniques, and health care policy.
Washington has a large selection of scholarship and grant options that can be used for advanced nursing degrees. The Washington State Nurses Association offers scholarships that start out at $1,000. Loan repayment programs and scholarships are available through the Washington State Department of Health. Other scholarships may include the Firland Foundation Graduate Pulmonary Nursing Fellowship, the Jean & Robert Reid Scholarship, and the Geraldine Allen Term Scholarship.
Beginning a nursing career often involves an extensive licensing process. The Washington State Department of Health requires all nursing professionals to keep a valid RN license. Advanced specialties that require further licensure include: nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, and clinical specialist.
Job growth rates vary between nursing professions, but in general, Washington has an extremely positive outlook for MSN graduates. O*Net expects job openings for nurse practitioners to increase by 20 percent between 2012 and 2022. During this time frame, they expect to see a 46 percent increase in nursing faculty job openings (O*Net, 2012).
Salaries in this state are fairly close to national averages. The average salary for a nursing instructor is $58,400 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse anesthetists earn a median income of $165,300 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Contact the Washington schools that offer Master’s in Nursing programs directly from our site to learn more about how you can advance your career by advancing your education.