An MSN degree is a master of science in nursing degree. This graduate degree is an option for individuals who have their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree and a nursing license. Applicants to MSN programs must also have a year of clinical experience working as a registered nurse (RN).
MSN programs cover required courses that impart the knowledge needed to work as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Although the most common career path for MSN program graduates may involve becoming a nurse practitioner (NP), nurse anesthetist, or nurse midwife, there are also other career options for MSN program graduates. Let’s look at how to earn an MSN degree and conventional and unconventional career options.
What does an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) do?
Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners are APRNs who provide primary care to adult patients. These professionals do not treat infants and young children. Some AGPCNPs focus exclusively on older adult patients. A geriatric nurse practitioner can identify the signs of dementia in older adults. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 50 million people worldwide have dementia. The WHO also indicated that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting up to 70 percent of dementia patients. Geriatric NPs evaluate patients and order tests to determine if older adults with memory issues are experiencing normal memory lapses associated with aging or if they’re developing dementia. Geriatric NPs develop treatment plans and teach patients about the type of dementia they have and what to expect as their condition progresses.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the 2019 median annual income for NPs was $111,680 in 2020. The BLS expects career opportunities for NPs to increase by 52 percent between 2019 and 2029, ensuring there are plenty of opportunities for those who opt to pursue this career option.
Use your MSN degree to become an APRN.
Becoming an AGPCNP is just one option for aspiring APRNs. You can also opt to become a family nurse practitioner (FNP), a nurse anesthetist, or a nurse midwife.
Family nurse practitioners provide primary care to patients of all ages. Like medical doctors, FNPs evaluate patients, order medical tests, confer with specialists, diagnose patients, and treat patients. An FNP may provide primary care for their patients throughout their entire life.
Nurse anesthetists are APRNs who give patients anesthesia before a surgical procedure and monitor them during surgery. They also give patients local anesthetic to numb part of their body before a medical procedure. A local anesthetic may be used when a person’s broken bone is being set or having teeth extracted. The BLS reported that nurse anesthetists earned median annual incomes of $183,580 in 2020 and could expect jobs to grow by 14 percent from 2019 to 2029.
Nurse midwives provide medical care for women. While they’re known for treating pregnant women and delivering babies, nurse midwives may also perform gynecological exams and treat patients with reproductive health problems. The BLS reported that nurse midwives’ opportunities should grow by 12 percent between 2019 and 2029 and that the 2020 median annual income for these APRNs was $111,130 in 2020.
Use your hand-eye coordination to remove tattoos.
One of the unconventional options for MSN degree holders is to become a tattoo removal specialist. Although tattoos are a popular form of body art, some people want to remove tattoos that refer to former relationships or need to remove old ink to make room for a new tattoo. Tattoo removal involves using lasers to remove tattoos from a person’s skin. Pursue a career with Fresh Start Laser Clinic. These laser tattoo removal specialists remove tattoos from a person’s body quickly and safely. It’s possible to use lasers to remove a tattoo without damaging the person’s skin. This is a satisfying career option because you can help clients restore their natural beauty. Salary.com reported that the average annual income for tattoo removal technicians was $41,919 as of March 2021. The salary for these technicians is affected by the technician’s education, which means MSN program graduates may earn higher salaries.
You can use your MSN degree to pursue an administrative career.
Earning a graduate degree will equip you with the academic requirements to become a medical and health services manager. Whether you want to work as a nursing home administrator or a clinical manager, you can pursue opportunities in management roles. Medical and health services managers may hire and train staff, create staff schedules, assign duties, and oversee operations in their facility or department. They’re responsible for ensuring staff follow regulations and provide quality care.
The BLS reported that the median annual income for medical and health services managers was $104,280 in 2020, while medical and health services managers who worked for the government earned median annual incomes of $116,380. The BLS also projected jobs for these certified healthcare professionals would grow by 32 percent between 2019 and 2029.
How does someone earn an MSN degree?
Once you meet the MSN program’s application requirements, you can pursue studies to become an MSN nurse. The first year of studies covers all advanced practice registered nurses’ critical subject areas, including advanced pathophysiology and diagnostic reasoning for nurse practitioners. In your second year of studies, you’ll choose a specialty. You could opt to complete FNP studies, prepare to become an AGPCNP or study to become a psychiatric-mental health NP. Your course of studies will include relevant subjects for your specialty, and you’ll also complete clinical hours as part of your studies. You can even opt to pursue your studies through an online program and continue working as an RN while earning your graduate degree.
MSN program graduates have multiple career options to consider. They may become primary care providers and treat patients, or they may pursue administrative opportunities. MSN program graduates can also pursue opportunities outside traditional healthcare roles.