Montana is a great state for nurses who want to earn a MSN degree, as there are several rural areas in the state that can benefit from an influx of highly trained nurses. There is a high demand for all types of nurses in Montana, and the state offers a wide range of nursing scholarships. Montana State University held an International Rural Health and Rural Nursing Research Conference in July, 2014, which was on focused evidenced-based practice, research, innovation and education. The end goal of the conference was to promote the health of individuals living in mostly rural and remote areas.
Montana, one of the most sparsely populated states in the country does need more rural healthcare providers, according to the Montana Healthcare Workforce (2011). Many of the state's rural counties often lack sufficient numbers of primary healthcare providers, which creates a dearth of healthcare services overall.
Earning your Master's Degree in Nursing is one way to help combat this gap between supply and demand. At BestNursingDegree.com, we have taken the time to compile a list of options for earning your Masters in Montana, so you can get on with furthering your education. Request information about the available nursing programs in MT that interest you to begin.
Nursing Schools in Montana that offer Master’s degrees in Nursing
There are a number of accredited universities that offer online MSN programs, as well as a few universities where you can attend courses on campus. For instance, Montana State University offers a fully accredited Masters of Nursing degree for a Clinical Nurse Leader, and when the program is completed you are eligible to take the credential examination offered by the American Nurses credentialing Center.
Montana State University in Bozeman, a Montana Board of Nursing approved university, offers online nursing graduate courses for Clinical Nurse Leaders, Family Nurse Practitioners and Mental Health Practitioners. There are other out-of-state colleges offering online programs for earning your Master’s degree in Nursing as well.
The Montana University offers their curriculum in five different locations across the state of Montana. In addition, they offer an RN to MSN program, which allow you to earn your MSN without first earning your BSN.
To apply for most MSN nursing programs in Montana, the following information is required:
- Completed application with the $60 fee
- Official transcripts from all bachelor's degree and post-baccalaureate work
- The appropriateness of previous academic training is evaluated
- Three letters of reference
- Letter or essay of intent
- International students must present results of TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language)
The MSN curriculum within nursing programs in Montana have similarities across the all programs, and some of the core Master’s in nursing courses may include:
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Evidence–based Practice I
- Statistical Applications for Graduate Nursing
- Design of Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Finance and Budget
- Clinical Nurse Leader Laboratory I
- Professional Paper/Project
- Program Planning and Eval, Outcomes, & QI
- Ethics, Law and Policy
- Professional Paper/Project
- Clinical Leadership Practicum
If you are concerned about how to pay for your Master’s program, Montana State University offers a nursing graduate scholarship, which requires a one page essay that covers the following criteria:
- What is nursing's biggest challenge today from your viewpoint
- Your financial need
- Something unique about you
- List 2-3 other attributes or achievements
The essays must be turned in with your Student Involvement Log, which is a record of your activities while you are enrolled as a graduate student. Your current GPA is also taken into account by the faculty that reviews the application materials and nominates students for specific scholarships. There are 29 different scholarships available at this university for nursing students, but the qualifying criteria varies. Some scholarships are based on grade point averages, while others are based on financial need.
If you are in a low income bracket, visit the college Financial Aid Office and complete the FAFSA application, which is determines your eligibility for federal financial aid. Your financial status will be evaluated, and Pell Grants and Department of Education loans are often awarded if you qualify.
The National Health Service Corps also has a loan repayment program where recipients will receive up to $50,000 in exchange for two years of service in they work in an area with a shortage of health professionals. This program is a federally funded program that is available in 30 states, and Montana is one of those states.
Making the decision to continue your education with a graduate degree may allow you to receive improved employment opportunities, as well as a potential increase in your income.
Montana nurse practitioners earn an annual salary of $92,700 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013. A nurse anesthetist in Montana earns an annual salary of $157,690. A nurse executive will average $101,340 annually. Montana salaries for graduate nurses ranges from $66,700 to $118,400 according to O*Net Online, which would reflect a nurses education, experience and geographical location, as there is amount of rural areas where salaries are slightly lower than the average salaries in the United States.
Professional organizations for Montana's MSN-prepared and advanced practice nurses include the Montana Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Montana Nurses' Association Council on Advanced Practice.
MSN programs for Montana nurses include:
- Montana State University. The MSN programs at Montana State give students a strong background in rural healthcare. Students are taught specifically about the healthcare needs and challenges of a rural population, and clinicals are often completed in rural settings. MSN courses are offered primarily online via phone or videoconferencing.
- Georgetown University. Though located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University offers nurse practitioner programs that are accessible to nurses in Montana. Classes are web-based, and Georgetown faculty help students arrange clinical experiences close to home.