In 2005, 8.3 percent of Nevada's nurses had an MSN degree. That number has been increasing in recent years as Nevada's nurses, hospitals and healthcare providers recognize the value of an advanced degree. Nurses with MSN degrees are able to deal with patients at a population level; they can analyze healthcare problems within a healthcare system or population and design and lead interventions to improve the health of the population. MSN-prepared nurse practitioners (NPs) and nurse midwives (CNMs) also provide much-needed primary care services, especially in the state's underserved rural areas. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) provide anesthesia services to a large number of state residents during surgical procedures.
In 2011, the Nevada Nurses Association introduced legislation that will require national certification for the state's advanced practice nurses (APNs), including NPs, CNMs, and CRNAs. According to the Nevada Nurses Association, the move is designed to ensure residents have access to the highest quality of care.
The Nevada Nurses Association also continues to support autonomous practice for master's-prepared advanced practice nurses. Nevada currently requires APNs to collaborate with a state physician; the Nevada Nurses Association believes that removing that requirement would free APNs to provide care wherever it might be needed within the state.
MSN programs for Nevada nurses include:
- Touro University. Touro offers a generalized online MSN program for Registered Nurses who wish to advance their nursing education and knowledge. Students can also choose to pursue additional study in nursing education or nurse management.
- University of Nevada - Reno. MSN programs at the University of Nevada-Reno are a great fit for working nurses. Most coursework is offered online; classes that meet in person often meet as little as once per month. Students can select from the nurse practitioner, nurse educator or clinical nurse leader tracks. A combined MSN/MPH degree is also available.