Nurses who have earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing have the opportunity of upgrading their education to a Master’s of Science in Nursing.  Due to the increasing number of job positions in the healthcare field that require a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, many nurses undertake a Master’s program to take advantage of the wider range of occupations and increased compensation that accompanies many of these positions.

Minimum admission requirements for a Master’s Degree program include a bachelor’s degree in nursing bestowed by an accredited educational institute with an overall GPA of 3.0, a registered nurse’s license, professional references, a current resume and, in some cases, a written essay regarding the nurse’s future occupational goals.  Medical clearance may be necessary prior to acceptance into the program.

Full-time students can complete their Master’s degree in 1 to 3 years, depending on the specialty they choose (i.e. nurse educator, nurse practitioner).  Student who do not attend full-time are usually allotted 6 years to complete the program.

Students have mentors throughout their program.  In addition, they may be expected to formulate a formal plan of goals, which must be achieved prior to graduation.

Typical curriculum courses are advanced theoretical foundations, evidence based practice, pathophsiology, healthcare policy and ethics, advanced pharmacology and advanced health and physical assessment.  These courses are designed to prepare nurses with a master’s degree to enter leadership roles in a variety of healthcare facilities.

A Master’s of Science in Nursing qualifies a nurse to work independently and as part of a team in developing, implementing and evaluating patient care strategies.  He or she may be eligible for administrative or management capacities, with less emphasis on participating in individual patient care and more stress placed on supervising overall functioning of a hospital department or outpatient healthcare facility.

It is predicted that, with the aging population, the number of outpatient healthcare facilities will increase to relieve pressure on the hospital system and, accordingly, nurses with a Master’s of Science will have greater prospects for employment and lucrative compensation.

Schools that offer this program