After completing nursing school, you were ready to take on the world of vital signs and patient care. While some nurses go straight into nursing for career experience, others choose to look at furthering their education immediately. Many nurses choose to advance their degree at some point in their career because of the opportunities it provides. When making the decision to further your credentials with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), there are certain things that you should consider before deciding if it is the right choice for you. Below you can find some of the biggest tips and tidbits that come along with an MSN.
1 - You will have new responsibilities.
When pursuing an MSN, you can choose from various tracks, MBU offers 3 tracks; Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner and Executive Leadership. Each track prepares you for different advanced roles within healthcare institutions, and these new roles come with added responsibilities. These kind of responsibilities are not introduced in the typical nurse role and can be stressful for some new to the profession. One way to ease this transition is by “finding a group of peers to support you and care for you in your academic endeavors,” according to Tara Hommelson, assistant professor of nursing. “Finding supportive peers can help you form new habits to successfully achieve your academic pursuits.” Though the transition may seem a bit overwhelming, it is one of the most rewarding feelings to see a patient recover because of the knowledge and care you were able to apply.
2- You will have to balance your education and life outside of classes.
A major part of any masters program is finding a way to balance your life outside of the classroom and internships. This is especially true for those pursuing an MSN, as these students typically are juggling lectures, skill-based speciality classes, and clinic time that occurs outside of the classroom. Typically, MSN students are working roughly 40 hour weeks while maintaining a busy class schedule. Hommelson stated that “finding your 'why' or your biggest benefit for wanting to strive towards your MSN degree and not losing sight of that 'why' and being sure to return to that 'why' when times are challenging further contributes to your success.” By defining what it is that is calling you towards advancing your career in nursing, you will find a deeper sense of connection to your future and day-to-day work.
3 - There will be new flexibility within your career.
As a nurse, you are well acquainted with the ins and outs of a twelve hour workday. You know exactly what energy drinks will keep you awake by hour ten and now how to keep yourself focused during this stretch of time. With a MSN, a more sustainable 8-hour shift work schedule will be more accessible. Beyond your hours, you will have more opportunities to network your career and field experience in a way that is tailored to your interests. With a more concentrated class variety, each MSN student will be able to master a specific area in nursing.
4 - You will fill a need in the community.
There is currently a shortage of both physicians and nurses across the United States, making these hard working and well educated professionals worth more than gold during an evolving post-pandemic healthcare system. Nurses with a masters degree are critical during this time because of their advanced knowledge and skill set, allowing them to not only take excellent care of patients but also pass on knowledge to budding nursing professionals. “The most important role nurses and NP’s fill is providing quality care and education,” says Hommelson. “The education we provide as nurses and NP’s is paramount to holistically caring for our patients. We can empower our patients by educating them about preventative care.”
5 - You are valuable.
At MBU, our goal is to help lay a foundation that leads you to a fulfilling and worthwhile career that fits your future. Our MSN degree plan is specially designed to allow for students to work full-time and still be done with the program in two years--making it one of the fastest masters of nursing programs to complete in the country.
Our faculty understands that your time is valuable and that you are an essential part of the future, making your interest in our program matter all the more to us. We believe healthcare workers are absolutely essential and would love to see you become a successful MSN graduate. Explore our website to see how we can fit into not only your educational goals, but your future.