Nursing is a rewarding career, but for some people, becoming a registered nurse is only one step on their career path. These people want to be able to become more involved in patient care as a nurse practitioner. Or, they may be seeking a teaching role as a nurse educator. A master’s degree in nursing can help individuals achieve these goals.
With a Masters of Science in Nursing, registered nurses will have many different career paths open to them. They can become teachers, administrators, leaders, or practitioners in a specific field or a more generalized form of practice. A nurse practitioner is a more advanced form of nursing that combines some duties typically handled by a physician.
A nurse practitioner can act as a healthcare provider for his or her patients. They are able to examine, diagnose, and prescribe medications for those under their care. They usually focus on prevention and education for their patients and treat the patent as a whole, without focusing solely on a person’s illness. Nurse practitioners can find positions in the mental and healthcare fields in many different specializations, including pediatrics, geriatrics, and women’s healthcare.
A nurse educator can work in the field to train new staff in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office, or work in an academic setting. As of 2010, there was a 6% shortage of nurse educators in the university system. The ability to combine real life experience with an education background is a skill-set that will be in high demand as older teachers retire and there are more positions left unfilled.
If an RN is looking to pursue a masters degree in nursing and is considering the education field, they may want to consider a college that offers a degree program specifically in that field. This will help you gain the education you need in order to be prepared to enter the world of teaching.
Some of the courses you may take in pursuit of a nurse educator specialty could include: ethics, teaching strategies, how to develop a curriculum, nursing theory, current delivery systems for healthcare, and current issues in the field of nursing. If a student decides to teach in a specific healthcare field, they should be prepared to take courses that involve that specialty.
A masters degree in nursing will prepare students for the changing healthcare system and the place of nurses in this new environment. For those who decide to teach, they will be able to help the young nurses who are on the brink of this new world of healthcare that focuses on prevention and wellness. For those who become nurse practitioners, they will be able to experience firsthand the shape of things to come as they treat their patients and not just the disease.
For those who find that being a registered nurse isn’t enough, there is a way to achieve more. By taking masters courses, they can learn about the theories that created the foundation of learning, how to work with the new technology that has helped make great advances in the field of medicine, and how to work in the modern legal and regulatory systems that monitor the healthcare profession. They will learn how to communicate with patients and co-workers, as well as how to work together to the benefit of the patient. A masters degree in nursing is almost a necessity in the modern healthcare environment, and will prepare an individual for whatever the future may bring.