Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs come in a number of formats and offer a range of concentrations. Online MSN programs are perfect for BSN-prepared nurses who want to increase their knowledge and take the next step in their careers — all while continuing to work in their current job.
MSN programs offer many concentrations, including:
- Administrative Leadership
What Do Nurses Learn in an MSN Degree Program?
Generally, nurses in an MSN program take courses that focus on evidence-based practice, leadership in nursing, and specialized curricula that relate to a concentration. For example, the MSN in Administrative Leadership in Nursing program offered by Northeastern State University (NSU) centers on advanced nursing practice and includes instruction on the following:
- Building collaborative partnerships with healthcare colleagues
- Synthesizing specialized knowledge and theories to elevate the nursing practice
- Expanding research skills and applying the knowledge gained to their practice
- Learning how to lead in order to improve quality, safety and outcomes
- Understanding social, cultural, political, legal and ethical influences
- Managing information, technology and other resources effectively
- Taking responsibility for upholding the standards of the nursing practice
- Instilling the importance of lifelong learning
Why Should Nurses Pursue an MSN?
Nurses who complete an MSN program are qualified for advanced practice nursing positions or non-clinical leadership jobs, depending on their degree concentration.
Additionally, nursing jobs for RNs with a master's degree come with higher salaries. According to PayScale (August 2019), the average annual salary for MSN-prepared nurses is $92,000, while BSN-prepared nurses average $81,000.
Where Can Nurses With an MSN Work?
Nurses with an MSN can work in almost any healthcare setting, such as:
- Physician's offices
- Nursing care facilities
- Home healthcare services
- Government agencies
What Should Nurses Consider When Selecting an MSN Program?
Prospective MSN students should consider the kind of learning platform they prefer. Online programs allow you to continue working, for example. Study when and where you want and still have time for family and relaxation. Online options are often quicker and more affordable. On-campus programs are often not as flexible, and they may take longer to complete.
Nurses should also look for nursing programs that are accredited. Two of the accreditation bodies for MSN programs are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Northeastern State University's online MSN program is ACEN-accredited.
How Does the Cost of NSU's MSN Program Compare to Others in Oklahoma?
Tuition for MSN programs in Oklahoma can cost as much as $23,000. Northeastern State University's 100% online MSN program comes in at $11,500 with no additional fees. When comparing schools, it's important to take all related costs into account. Tuition may increase due to factors such as:
- Number of credit hours
- Added fees
- Travel expenses for on-campus and hybrid programs
- Program completion time
RNs who complete an MSN in Administrative Leadership in Nursing program can transition out of direct patient care and into leadership roles such as director of nursing, chief nursing officer, nursing supervisor or department manager. An online program may be a good fit for nurses who want to continue working while earning their degree.
NSU's online MSN program provides the convenience of multiple start dates and an embedded practicum. The program offers two additional advantages: It does not require nursing work experience for admission as is common in other MSN programs, and it can be completed in as few as 12 months.
Sources:Nursing CAS: What's the Deal With Accreditation?
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