Nursing is an important and professional career where education and experience are vital. Whether you are currently working as a registered nurse or plan to pursue a nursing career in the future, it’s likely that you already know that this career path is excellent in terms of career advancement and progression, with several options available for nurses who want to move up the career ladder or work in a certain specialty area. Nurses have several options available when it comes to moving up the career ladder. A master’s degree may be required for several nursing career options at a higher level. The good news for nurses is that there are now more and more online nursing degree options available for them to consider. Studying online is often the ideal choice for full-time nurses who want to gain an advanced qualification while continuing in their job. Here are some of the career options and pathways that an online nursing master’s degree could help you get into.
Nurse practitioners are currently experiencing a high level of demand in the industry, due to their ability to fill the gap that has been caused by the current shortage of primary care physicians. It’s no surprise that nurses who want to get an online advanced nursing degree will often opt for one of the many online BSN to MSN programs that are designed to prepare them for this career in the future. Nurse practitioners are some of the most advanced nurses in the industry, and in many states, they are provided with full authority to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication to patients without the need for the supervision of a physician. As a result, nurse practitioners can often be found running their own clinics or managing retail clinics, which are becoming an increasingly popular option with patients due to their added convenience.
Nurse Leadership and Management
Nurses need to have professionals who can head up the team and manage the care of patients. If you are the type of person who enjoys leading a team, managing others and being responsible for collective success, a career as a nurse manager or leader could be ideal for you. As a nurse manager or leader, you will be tasked with being in charge of managing teams of nurses and healthcare professionals in a healthcare setting. Nurse leaders and managers are often in charge of managing departments in hospitals, clinics, and various other healthcare settings. They are responsible for ensuring that the best standards of patient care are upheld.
Specialty Nursing Areas
There are various specialty nursing areas that you can choose at any point in your career. However, gaining a master’s degree in nursing allows you to focus on your chosen specialty area even further, learning more about the types of patients or the medical conditions that you will mainly be working with. Aside from the general master’s degree programs in nursing that are available for you to choose from, you may also be able to find various specialty-based master’s programs such as a master’s degree in pediatric or oncology nursing. If you have a certain aspect of your career that you tend to be more interested in and enjoy more compared to others, a specialized master’s degree program might be the ideal choice for you.
With an advanced degree, you may be able to pursue a career as a nurse educator and use your knowledge and skills to teach the next generation of nurses at colleges and universities. Nurse educators may work in the college or university itself giving lectures and teaching classes, or they might work in the healthcare setting acting as a mentor or coach to student nurses who are in the process of learning on the job. In order to become a nurse educator, you might be required to get a doctorate of nursing practice, which will require you to have a minimum of a master’s degree in nursing before you enroll.
How to Choose the Right Advanced Degree Program
Online nursing degree programs are often the best option available for nurses who are looking to advance their career. Studying online is often cheaper compared to attending on-campus classes and since the degree programs are often more flexible, they allow busy nurses to fit their studies around full-time work and make juggling the two easier. When choosing the right advanced nursing degree program for you, there are several factors to consider including:
If you want to study for your advanced degree online, there are several options to consider and it’s important to look into the finer details of the degree program before you decide where to enroll. Some online degree programs are more structured, meaning that you will need to be online at certain times for scheduled lectures and classes. On the other hand, other advanced online degrees are more flexible, allowing you to decide when you would prefer to be online to study and providing online study materials that you can access at any time to learn at your own pace.
If you are currently working as a nurse, it is worth speaking to your employer about your plans to take an advanced nursing degree. With advanced nurses in higher demand than ever before, getting this degree program will often be a win-win situation for both you and your employer. Because of this, it is often worth asking about any employer support programs that might be available for you to take advantage of. Some healthcare employers might be partnered with nursing schools and colleges where you can get discounted tuition fees as an employee, while others might offer tuition reimbursement programs and other types of support for nurses who are looking to advance their careers.
Today, online advanced nursing degrees are becoming an increasingly popular option for busy nurses who are looking to progress up the career ladder, take on more responsibility, and earn a higher salary. Studying for an online master’s degree in nursing or similar could take your career into several different advanced roles.