An undergraduate degree in nursing may land you a decent job in the healthcare field, but with recent healthcare reform laws changing the industry, the need for nurses with advanced practice skills is in high demand. A Master's of Science degree in nursing can help set you above the rest of the competition. Even if you don't have a Bachelor's degree, you may be able to find an RN to MSN program that can eliminate the middle step of getting your BSN.
Find out how earning your MSN degree in Utah can be of benefit to both you and your career. Simply contact the schools offering MSN nursing programs in Utah to begin.
What is a MSN Degree?
A Master's of Science in Nursing degree is a post-graduate degree designed to prepare you with advanced nursing skills. Many nurses choose a specialization that focuses on a particular area they have an interest in. Your specific area of specialization will determine your scope of course requirements.
What can I do with a MSN degree?
Having an MSN degree can open up the door to many different opportunities. There are many options available and once you have an MSN degree you can become a teacher, making a huge impact on the future of nursing.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that in 2013, 401 qualified students were turned away from nursing programs across Utah because of a lack of educators and clinical facilities. Now more than ever, nursing educators are needed to fulfill teaching positions.
Teaching is a rewarding position, but it's only one of the rewarding career options you could attain with a MSN degree. Here are a few others:
- Clinical Nurse Specialist – This type of nursing specialization focuses on leadership and complex problem solving in a clinical setting. A clinical nurse can diagnose and treat illness in their area of expertise and are looked up to by other nursing staff.
- Nurse Practitioner – Nurse practitioners are similar to doctors. They are able to diagnose and prescribe medications for illnesses and can either practice independently or under the care of another physician.
- Certified Nurse Midwife – A certified nurse midwife works in the obstetrics and gynecology field. They can act as clinical practitioners for low-risk pregnancies in pre-natal to labor and delivery areas.
- Nurse Anesthetist – Nurse Anesthetists administer anesthesia to patients throughout surgical procedures. They are among one of the highest-paid nursing professions. This is due to the in-depth knowledge that they have obtained, which prepares them for a variety of critical situations that may arise.
What MSN programs are available to me?
Many nurses are choosing to do online masters of nursing programs in Utah. Most schools have managed to incorporate online classes as a part of their curriculum. One of the benefits of taking classes online is that it allows you to juggle both your classes and your work schedule at the same time.
Once you choose the method, then you must see what program is a fit for you.
- Direct Entry MSN - This type of program is for those who have a Bachelor's Degree in another field, but would like to pursue their Master's in Nursing. Courses in this program are accelerated and begin with the basics of nursing before moving on to advanced courses and specializations.
- RN to MSN- This program is designed for RN's to build upon their experience as a registered nurse. The curriculum of this program focuses on community health nursing, leadership and management.
- BSN to MSN- This program is the traditional method of attaining your Master's degree. This path is for those who hold their Bachelor's of Science Degree in Nursing and are looking to continue their education. The traditional BSN to MSN course takes around 2 years to complete.
The Utah Nurses Foundation views scholarship applicants pursuing advanced practice and other MSN specialties as high priority. Check out the Utah State Board of Nursing, Utah Nurses Association, and Utah Nurse Practitioners Association for more information.
How Can an MSN Degree Affect my Nursing Career?
Like many western states, Utah has an increasing need for primary care providers in rural areas. MSN-prepared nurse practitioners are ideal for this role. Almost every county in Utah has been designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a Health Provider Shortage Area, so opportunities are likely to increase.
Earning your master's in nursing may increase your salary and position in your company. The BLS reports in 2013 that the annual median pay for Utah RNs was $60,090 per year . The median wage for a Nurse Anesthetist in Utah was $144,080, which is more than double the salary of an RN.
Advanced degrees are also needed to improve the quality of healthcare in the United States. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing indicates that nurses with advanced degrees have patients with lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors and quality errors. The purpose of the MSN program is to develop you into becoming a better nurse, which in turn will better your provision of quality patient care.
Request program information from the Utah nursing schools listed on our site to learn more about going from RN to MSN prepared nurse.
Programs to consider:
Brigham Young University (Provo, UT). BYU offers an MSN in a much needed specialty - family nurse practitioner. Both urban and rural internships are available.
University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT). University of Utah has a selection of advanced practice specialties (including geriatrics) and other MSN tracks including education and informatics.