If you are a nurse and love what you do, then why not take your nursing skills to the next level? Earning a bachelor's degree is a great way to launch your nursing career, but by earning a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN), RI can benefit greatly. Entering the field of advanced practice nursing can be a highly rewarding experience that can result in higher quality healthcare and better patient outcomes. Find out more about getting your MSN degree in Rhode Island, and how you can help improve the quality of healthcare while creating your own path to success.
Review our listing of nursing schools in RI to determine which master's in nursing programs interest you most. Contact those that offer the programs you want to learn more about, including those that offer RN to MSN degrees, as well as online nursing programs in Rhode Island.
What is a Master's of Science in Nursing Degree?
When someone "masters" something, most people typically think it means that a person is skilled in a certain area. A Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) follows the same concept. The courses that lead up to a MSN degree are designed to prepare you to be an expert in a specialized area of nursing.
Some specialized areas of nursing that are expected to be in high demand in the future are: Certified Nurse Midwives, Critical Care Nurses, Family Nurse Practitioners, Gerontological Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Educators, Nurse Researchers, Pain Management Nurses, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners. For any of these career paths, the Rhode Island Board of Nursing requires that you must hold a current RN license, have completed an accredited program in which a MSN degree was issued, and lastly, you must have completed and passed a national qualifying examination that is approved by the Board.
What are your options for getting a Master's of Science in Nursing Degree?
The first step in getting your degree is choosing a program. It is important to educate yourself in the programs you are interested in to see which one will be a fit for you. Different factors may have an effect on your decision such as the cost or the amount of flexibility you will need. Many schools have developed online programs that are geared toward working RN's. This means you can take your classes while maintaining your work schedule, and many times employers have programs set up that help with the cost of continuing your education. If you don't yet have your Bachelor's degree, you may want to look for an RN to MSN program, offered by several nursing schools in Rhode Island and across the nation.
The next step is finding your niche. What area of healthcare are you interested in? Some people have specializations in oncology or pediatrics, or on the other end of the spectrum, nursing education or healthcare administration. Whatever path you choose, you want to be certain that it's the career path for you. Some nursing schools make it difficult to change your path of study during the program, so it's important to choose the path that you will want to follow early on.
Once you are enrolled in your MSN program in Rhode Island, the types of classes you will take may vary. If you are starting from the very beginning as in a Direct Entry MSN program, you will take all the basic nursing courses on an accelerated basis before focusing on the advanced classes. If you are enrolled in a RN to MSN program, the courses are designed to build upon your nursing skills to earn your BSN before pursuing the MSN. A sample sequence of courses may include:
Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse: Transformational Leadership in Advanced Practice
- Advanced Theoretical Perspectives
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advanced Nursing Practice I
- Advanced Nursing Practice II
- Nursing Research Methods
Nurse Administrator Specialization Requirements
- Human Resource Management in Healthcare Organizations
- Managing Complex Healthcare Systems
- Quality Outcomes and Financial Management in Healthcare Organizations
- Practicum I: Quantitative Skills in Nursing Administration
- Practicum II: Qualitative Skills in Nursing Administration
- Graduate Project in Nursing
Nurse Educator Specialization
- Teaching and Learning Strategies
- Evaluation of Educational Outcomes in Nursing
- Curriculum Design & Evaluation in Nursing Education
- Practicum in Nursing Education I
- Practicum in Nursing Education II
- Graduate Project in Nursing
Nursing Informatics Specialization
- Information Technology Infrastructure
- Introduction to Nursing Informatics
- Issues and Trends in Nursing Informatics
- Practicum I: Database Management in Nursing Informatics
- Practicum II: Project Management in Nursing Informatics
- Graduate Project in Nursing
What is the outlook on careers that require a Master's of Science in Nursing Degree?
The demand for advanced practice nurses is expected to grow in the near future. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 has made it possible for all Americans to have access to health insurance. Within the next few years, it is anticipated that the number of insured will rise dramatically. This contributes to an already growing problem--a shortage of doctors.
With the increase of insured patients, the doctor to patient ratio is off balance. Nurse Practitioners play an important role in today's healthcare--filling in the primary care gap. The role of Nurse Practitioners can be compared to that of a doctor in their scope of practice. They can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications for common diseases and illnesses. Very few states allow Nurse Practitioners to practice independently; however, the state of Rhode Island does not require NPs to practice under a physician's care and allows them to prescribe medicine.
Regardless of which route or specialty you choose, getting your master's in nursing degree in Rhode Island is an undertaking that can bring both personal and professional benefits. Contact those nursing schools in RI you find listed on our site to learn more about your MSN options today.