You became a nurse because you wanted to make a difference every day you went to work, and that’s exactly what you’ve done. You’ll never forget the feeling you have when you watch a patient overcome a difficult diagnosis or receive a warm hug from a family member whose loved one was in your care.
Ever since your first day in scrubs, that passion has continued to progress. So much so, that you’re considering taking the next step in advancing your career as a nurse. Earning a Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN) could open a variety of doors that would help you extend your reach in the field.
If you’re curious about the career paths available for those with an MSN, you came to the right place. Read on to learn more about seven specialized careers you may be able to land with a master’s degree in nursing.
7 satisfying career options for MSN nurses
1. Nurse educator
Nurse educators are nurses with an advanced education who work as faculty members in schools of nursing. Like any teacher, a nurse educator prepares lesson plans, develops curriculum, conducts lectures and advises students as they explore various career options.
With the right amount of experience, nurse educators may be able to author textbooks or even manage groups of other nursing instructors in their program. This is a great way to make your mark in the industry by training and mentoring the next generation of nurses.
2. Nurse administrator
A nurse administrator serves as manager of nurses in a healthcare facility like a clinic or hospital. As implied in the job title, this role is much more administrative than a typical nurse’s job would be. This includes leadership responsibilities such as planning and overseeing budgets and schedules, keeping up with ethical and legal standards for their nurses’ job performance and developing policies and employee training.
Since they work in an office setting and not on the floor, nurse administrators have little direct contact with patients. To work in a role as a nurse manager or nurse director, you will need to complete your MSN with a focus in nurse administration. This option is ideal if you’re looking for a way to exercise your leadership abilities while having the opportunity to impacting nursing policy.
3. Nurse anesthetist
Nurse anesthetists work in collaboration with surgeons and anesthetists to administer local, regional or general anesthesia. They work in a variety of settings, including hospital surgical suites, OB delivery rooms or specialists’ offices like podiatrists or dentists.
These positions offer a high earning potential, but keep in mind they also carry a very heavy load of responsibility in an ultra-specialized role. In order to become a nurse anesthetist, you will need to complete an accredited nurse anesthesia program after obtaining your MSN. This is an attractive specialty if you want to focus your energy towards a demanding and in-demand specialty.
4. Nurse midwife
Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) work in birthing centers, clinics or hospitals to offer counseling and clinical care to women during preconception, pregnancy, delivery and postpartum periods. They also provide routine gynecological care for female patients. In fact, though they are known for delivering babies, nurse midwives actually spend a majority of their time in primary or preventative care.
In order to be employed as a nurse midwife, you will need to complete your MSN degree and then attend an accredited midwifery program. If you’re a parent or a hope to be one someday and you’re passionate about family-focused care, this might be the perfect position for you.
5. Clinical nurse specialist
Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are registered nurses who hold an advanced degree in a specialized area, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, diabetes, psychiatry or rehabilitation. In order to work as a CNS, you will simply need to complete your MSN in your particular area of focus.
As a CNS, you could have a myriad of duties ranging from conventional nurse responsibilities to research or consulting to improve healthcare systems within your area of expertise. If you have a special interest in a particular area of healthcare, this is a great option for you to enhance your influence in the field.
6. Nurse researcher
Nurse researchers get the best of both worlds: They are both nurses and scientists. These professionals have the opportunity to improve healthcare and health outcomes for thousands of patients, as they design and implement scientific studies and analyze and report their findings.
Nurse researchers may work at a university, private laboratory or clinical settings. They typically work alongside scientists and researchers in other fields who help them address complex medical problems. To work as a nurse researcher, you will need to complete a PhD program after earning your MSN degree. This is a great option if you desire to make a permanent impact on the future of the nursing industry.
7. Nurse practitioner
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses who offer care to individuals from premature babies to the elderly in either hospital or clinical settings. From physical examinations to disease management and interpretation of diagnostic lab tests, NPs perform a variety of duties to ensure optimal health for every patient.
NPs also have the ability to prescribe medication. In fact, they’re authorized to work independently without doctor supervision in 26 states. Due to the increased level of responsibility, you’ll need to obtain a state license and certification to become an NP. If you’ve ever had aspirations of becoming a doctor, this could be the next best thing for your career.
Take your passion to the next level
As you can see, there are several satisfying ways to take your nursing career to the next level with a Master’s Degree in Nursing. No matter which opportunity aligns with your skills and interests, you’re sure to make a lasting impact on the industry.
Check out our MSN degree page to learn more about how we can help equip you for this exciting next step in your nursing career.
Rasmussen College does not provide education for all of the job titles listed above. For more information about programs offered, visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing.