Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Graduate Nurse Jobs and Career Outlook

It’s a great time to be a nurse. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of registered nurses to grow 22 percent between 2008 and 20181.

It’s also a great time to earn an advanced nursing degree. In 2010, the Tri-Council of Nurses released a statement urging all nurses to increase their education levels to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex health care environment. “Current healthcare reform initiatives call for a nursing workforce that integrates evidence-based clinical knowledge and research with effective communication and leadership skills,” the report states. “Without a more educated nursing workforce, the nation's health will be further at risk.”

Many health care facilities across the nation are taking this call very seriously. For example, magnet hospitals now require a certain percentage of nurses on staff to hold master’s degrees, and many non-magnet hospitals are following their lead. Consequently, nurses with an MSN may have an advantage over those without an advanced degree when it comes to applying for a job as well as positioning themselves for advancement.

The Outlook for Nurse Executive Leaders

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics further states that the intensity of nursing care is likely to escalate, requiring more nurse leaders and administrators with the managerial skills to handle complicated patient care plans. The Nurse Executive Leader concentration within Benedictine’s Online MSN is designed to give registered nurses the top organizational, business and clinical skills and knowledge to take charge of a unit, department or facility.

The nursing profession is expected to add more than a half-million jobs from 2008 to 2018. More nurses, combined with the increasingly technological and organizationally complex nature of health care, means that there will be a need for more nurse leaders able to prove they have the advanced skills to take on leadership positions.

The Outlook for Nurse Educators

Nurse Educators are in demand. In fact, nursing schools must turn away qualified applicants because they don’t have enough faculty members, due in part to large numbers of Nurse Educators heading into retirement. In traditional academic settings, employers require applicants to hold a master’s degree in nursing.
Nursing Educators may also work with patients, teaching them how to manage illnesses and medications, or working with the community on wellness and disease prevention initiatives. Another growing segment of employment is at medical equipment makers, where nurses teach other health care professionals to use new products.

Having a concentration as a Nurse Educator as part of your MSN degree can show potential employers that you have developed the specific strategies and skills to become an effective teacher, no matter what type of position you ultimately decide to pursue.

Learn more about the career opportunities open to you with a master’s degree in Nursing from Benedictine University. Request more information or call (866) 295-3104 today to speak to a program manager.

1Employment information on this page from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 version, accessed 1/31/2012,