In a remote, sparsely-populated state like Idaho, skilled health care providers are extremely important. Residents of smaller communities may only have access to one or two health care practitioners on a regular basis, so it's essential to have educated nurses available.
Almost 700 new MSN nurses are needed in Idaho by 2020 according to the Idaho Department of Labor. That startling conclusion is the result of a series of studies that analyzed the state's healthcare demand and workforce. Idaho especially needs more nurse practitioners, more certified registered nurse anesthetists and more nurse educators - and is offering incentives to encourage Idaho nurses to pursue advanced education. This means it's a great time to look into the nursing schools in Idaho that offer MSN programs.
If you're looking for a way to take your nursing career to the next level, an MSN degree may be what you are looking for. You may be able to choose a specialty that best suits your future career goals. With a Master's degree in nursing, you can become a nurse educator, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, or nurse administrator.
Many nurses, particularly those who want to become more involved in patient care, look for MSN programs that focus on nurse practitioner certification. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Idaho nurse practitioners do not have any practice restrictions. This means that you can fully use your education to care for patients and improve the state of health care in Idaho.
Nurse practitioners play an important role in Idaho, where there's a significant shortage of primary care physicians. An increasing number of nurse practitioners allows Idaho residents to get more affordable and accessible primary care. You may be able to open your own practice in a rural area of Idaho if you want to bring health care to an underserved community. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare maintains a list of areas that are short on health professionals.
If you want to change the face of nursing education, consider becoming a nursing instructor. The Idaho Department of Labor keeps a list of in-demand occupations. Licensed practical nurses and registered nurses are near the top of that list. Many nursing schools are short on nursing instructors, so a greater number of nurse educators may lead to a greater number of nurses.
What to Expect from MSN Programs in Idaho
One of the first steps you have to take as a prospective MSN student is deciding which type of nursing you'd like to go into. Available Master's degree programs include anesthesia, midwifery, general care, leadership, and education. If you attend school as a full-time student, you may be able to complete your 30-50 credit program in two years. Those who work full-time and attend school part-time may graduate in three to four years.
Another popular option is an RN to MSN program. These programs are an ideal option for nurses who have Associate's degrees. In four years of year-round study, you can work towards an MSN and earn a BSN along the way. This program has significant clinical requirements.
As an MSN student, you can plan on taking a variety of courses. Core classes include Advanced Evidence Application, Administrative Approaches to Nursing, and Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Practice. Nursing leadership programs may include courses like Financial Management, Advanced Leadership, and Health Care in Rural Communities. Those who go into nursing education may take classes like Curriculum Development, Teaching Strategies in Nursing, and Student Assessment.
While looking into nursing schools in Idaho, you may wish to apply for scholarships and grants. These types of financial aid can significantly decrease your financial obligations in school. The Idaho Area Health Education Center assists students with a number of scholarships and grants. You may also be able to apply for scholarships through the Idaho Community Foundation. The Idaho State Board of Education offers loan forgiveness to those who plan on working in Idaho after graduation.
Career Options for Idaho Nurses with an MSN Degree
Idaho desperately needs both nurse educators and primary care nurses who are willing to practice in primary settings. As more of Idaho's nursing faculty are expected to retire within the next few years, more MSN nurses, including those who intend to pursue a PhD at some point, are needed to teach the next generation of Idaho's nurses.
MSN nurses who provide primary care services - such as nurse practitioners and nurse midwives - are needed in the state's sparsely populated rural areas. Certified registered nurses anesthetists (CRNAs) are also needed in the rural regions of the state, as they are often the sole providers of anesthesia services at rural hospitals.
Nursing programs in Idaho may offer you the chance to increase your earning outcome. O*Net reports that nurse practitioners earn an average of $88,800 per year. Nurse anesthetists, with an average salary of $145,400 per year, may be the highest-paid nursing professionals in Idaho (O*Net, 2013). Those who work as nursing instructors claim an average income of $51,300 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Keep in mind that many MSN programs, including RN to MSN programs in Idaho, are offered online making it easy for nurses across the state to access graduate education. You can learn more about all your options by requesting materials from the schools listed on this page.
MSN programs for Idaho nurses include:
- Idaho State University. Idaho State prepares students for careers as clinical nurse specialists, nurse educators, nurse leader and nurse practitioners. MSN students can study full-time or part-time. While all classes are offered online, some also require periodic on-site attendance.
- Northwest Nazerene University. The online MSN program at Northwest Nazerene is specifically designed to prepare nurses for careers in nurse education. The online format enables students to work while studying for their MSN degree.