Career options in nursing increase dramatically once you’ve earned a master of science in nursing degree. Opportunities include, but aren’t limited to, teaching, consulting, crafting health care policy and holding management and administrative positions. To put this in perspective, the annual job growth outlook for nurses holding MSN degrees is 26 percent,1 versus 16 percent2 for registered nurses. Salaries are higher once you earn your MSN, too. In 2015, salaries for nurses with MSN degrees averaged $86,000,1 while RNs averaged $67,490.2 (The latter figure does not distinguish between RNs with bachelor of science in nursing degrees and those without.)
At Sacred Heart University, MSN students can choose from three of the online specializations: clinical nurse leader, nursing education or nursing management and executive leadership. Each offers a wide variety of career possibilities. Here’s a look at some of them:
Clinical Nurse Leader
Clinical nurse leader is a relatively new field that encompasses many career options that focus on coordinating care and improving patient outcomes. These advanced generalists are involved in managing nursing staff, planning and evaluating patient care as well as providing care. The average annual salary is $84,000. The overall demand for nurses at all levels is expected to grow at 19 percent per year. Because of increased emphasis on graduate degrees among employers, the job growth outlook for clinical nurse leaders is well above average.3
Nurse educators are responsible for training nursing students and for teaching continuing education courses in nursing. They may work in universities and community colleges to train nurses, and sometimes in medical centers and hospitals to provide enhanced nursing training. There currently is a shortage of nurse educators.4 The average annual salary is $77,000, and annual job growth is projected at 26 percent through 2020.
Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
These nurses are trained in the business aspects of nursing. They manage nursing homes or nursing departments in healthcare facilities. They are responsible for staffing, scheduling and all other administrative decisions for their unit or facility. Salary range depends on the type of facility and ranges from about $60,000 at small nursing centers to roughly $200,000 at larger organizations. Projected job growth is 26 percent per year through 2020.
These are only a few of the careers available once you earn your MSN degree. Whether you choose to become a clinical nurse leader, a nursing educator, a nursing manager or executive, your opportunities and earnings potential are enhanced significantly when you invest the time and money to earn a graduate-level nursing degree.
To learn more about Sacred Heart’s accredited online MSN degree program, request more information or call 877-791-7181 to speak to a program manager.