It's clear that doctors are a crucial part of patient care, but nursing is often considered the backbone of the health care industry. As a registered nurse, you have likely held patient's hands, provided them with the support they need during difficult procedures, and acted as an advocate for their needs. If you want to take your nursing career to the next level in Washington, consider furthering your education with an RN-to-MSN bridge program. These degree programs are specifically designed for working registered nurses that want to explore a career in nursing research, advanced nursing practice, nursing leadership, or nursing education.
In Washington, each RN-to-MSN bridge program is divided into two parts. Once you are accepted, you complete a short set of courses that bring you up to the educational level of a BSN. Once you complete the equivalent of a bachelor's degree, you can complete master's degree courses in your chosen specialty.
Choosing a specialty is often one of the first steps you complete after you get accepted to the program of your choice. Any specialty typically requires quite a bit of work experience; you'll likely need at least one full year of full-time nursing experience. Specialties in clinical settings include nurse midwifery, nurse anesthesia, and nurse practitioner. There may be options in administrative care, like nurse leadership and clinical nurse administration. For those who want to educate nurses, nurse education may be the specialty of choice.
It's important to become familiar with the curriculum of your RN-to-MSN program so that you can adequately prepare for your coursework. Early courses in your curriculum may include Vulnerability, Culture, & Nursing, Concepts and Theories for Advanced Practice Nursing, and Critical Inquiry in Nursing. Courses in nurse practitioner programs include Advanced Pharmacological Applications for Primary Care and Primary Care Management. Nurse midwifery courses may include Care Skills for Childbearing Women and Newborns, Management of Gynecologic and Reproductive Health, and Primary Care of Women.
As a nursing student in Washington, it's likely that you'll be able to apply for a wide selection of nursing scholarships and grants. Take advantage of these opportunities early and often, since scholarships tend to close early and you don't want to miss out on your chance! The Washington State Nurses Foundation awards several thousand dollars of grants and scholarships each year. Nursing Students of Washington State is a statewide organization that offers financial support to nursing students at different levels of education. At the statewide level, the Washington Student Achievement Council funds grants and scholarships for students that are willing to work in Washington after graduation.
Upon completion of your MSN, you may have to expand your nursing license in Washington. The Washington State Department of Health has advanced licensing requirements for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. If you are working in another specialty, you may just need a registered nursing license in Washington.
In general, Washington nursing professionals can anticipate a positive job outlook for several years to come. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects a 20 percent increase in nurse anesthetist jobs. The job demand is highest for nursing instructors. Through 2022, O*Net predicts a 46 percent increase in nurse education jobs.
Nursing salaries in Washington tend to be relatively close to the national salary range for each job. Your income potential may increase as you gain experience and seniority. In 2013, nursing instructors earned an average of $58,400 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse anesthetists earn an average income of $165,300 per year (O*Net, 2013).
With the prestige and education offered by an MSN, you may have lots of career opportunities in Washington. You may also find that you become a leader in your community, as your knowledge of nursing research, leadership skills, and patient care may be excellent. This career path can have long-reaching effects for you and others!