When it comes to medical education, doctors must undergo a notorious amount of schooling. The journey to becoming a licensed physician is long, difficult, and expensive. After graduating from college, students must complete four years of medical school, followed by a residency program that can last anywhere from three to seven years.
But what about nurses? The role of nurses has changed dramatically over the last few decades. Nurses are now responsible for tasks that were once only performed by doctors. They also play a vital role in patient care and education.
So, should nurses get a master’s degree?
What Do Nurses Do?
Historically, the role of nurses has been primarily focused on bedside care. Nurses were responsible for taking care of patients, providing them with medications and treatments, and ensuring that they were comfortable.
Nowadays, the role of nurses is much different. Nurses are still responsible for patient care, but they also play a significant role in patient education and advocacy. Nurses are often the first point of contact for patients, and they play a vital role in helping patients understand their health conditions and how to best manage them. These medical professionals also play a key role in coordinating care between different medical professionals and providing support to families.
The changing role of nurses has led to an increased demand for those professionals with advanced degrees.
Why Nurses Should Pursue Masters Study
Nurses with a master’s degree often have the opportunity to work in specialized roles, such as nurse educators, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners. These roles often come with higher salaries and more responsibility.
Nurse practitioners, for example, are able to diagnose and treat patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications. Pursuing a master’s degree also allows nurses to conduct research and develop new evidence-based practices that can improve patient care.
Required Nursing Education
To be eligible for these roles, nurses must first complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. They then must complete a master’s degree program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission.
What Are the Disadvantages of Getting a Master’s Degree in Nursing?
Although there are many advantages to pursuing a master’s degree in nursing, there are also some disadvantages. One of the biggest disadvantages is the cost. Master’s degree programs can be expensive, and nurses may have to take out student loans to finance their education.
Another disadvantage is the time commitment. Master’s degree programs typically take two to three years to complete, which means that nurses will have to put their careers on hold while they complete their studies.
Online Masters Options
Since graduate education is time-consuming, nurses may want to consider pursuing an online master’s degree. There are many advantages to pursuing an online degree. Online programs are often more flexible than traditional programs, and they can be completed at the nurse’s own pace.
Another advantage of online programs is that they are often more affordable than traditional programs.
What is the Best Option for You?
Whether or not you should pursue a master’s degree in nursing depends on your career goals and personal circumstances. If you want to advance your career and earn a higher salary, then a master’s degree may be the best option for you.
But if you are not interested in pursuing a leadership role or you cannot afford the cost of a graduate’s education, then a bachelor’s degree may be the best option. In conclusion, if you are a professional nurse who is ready to advance your career options, the graduate study can be done from the comfort of home. Consider applying for an online RN to MSN.