The field of nursing offers vast and ever-expanding career opportunities. Knowing what opportunities are available before you begin your nursing education can help you decide what type of education you want to pursue and how you’d like to use it.
The online nursing degree programs offered through Sacred Heart University allow you to tailor your education to best suit your future career plan.
Is a BSN Enough?
A bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) will equip you with the skills and expertise you need for positions beyond basic registered nurse jobs. With a BSN, you’ll be qualified to work in advanced RN positions, as a specialty nurse, public health, among other jobs.
Your BSN education will take four years and requires coursework in algebra, psychology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. With a BSN, you’ll be able to specialize in such fields as obstetrics/gynecology or hospice care, and you’ll find that nursing jobs are available in areas far beyond traditional medical settings. For example, nursing positions can be found virtually everywhere in the country and can include such diverse environments as the armed forces or correctional facilities.1
What About an MSN?
While a BSN can open many doors into the nursing world, you can go even further with an MSN, or master of science in nursing degree. Although every school has its own set of requirements for enrolling in an MSN program, some of the standard requirements include a registered nurse license, a bachelor’s degree in nursing with a GPA of at least 3.0, letters of recommendation, proof of malpractice insurance, and undergraduate transcripts.
At Sacred Heart University, you also can enter the MSN program without a BSN, as long as you have a nursing license and a bachelor’s degree in any field.
The value of an MSN degree is that it provides an even broader scope of job opportunities than a BSN, and that typically means better pay as well. Top salaries for nurses with an MSN can reach close to six figures, which is more than $30,000 more per year than a professional with a BSN typically earns.2
In addition, with an MSN, you have an even greater opportunity to specialize. Specialties include oncology, mental health care and pediatrics, among others. An MSN also opens the door for you to work toward your doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.
If you already have your BSN degree, you can earn your MSN faster than if your bachelor’s degree is in another field of study. The MSN program builds upon your BSN and teaches you such advanced topics as physical assessment, pharmacology, theory, research, education and leadership.
Once you have earned your degree—which usually takes about two years—you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of challenging and rewarding career opportunities or, if you want to continue your education, you’ll be able to pursue a doctorate.
Nurses are in high demand, and the field is positioned for continued strong growth, both in terms of the sheer number of jobs available and in the ever-expanding diversity of available jobs.3
To learn more about Sacred Heart’s accredited online BSN and MSN degree programs, request more information or call 877-791-7181 to speak to a program manager.