Health care is constantly evolving. To keep pace, health care professionals need to obtain more knowledge and skills to meet the needs of this rapidly-changing industry. For example, doctors must now have eight or more years of education and today’s physical therapists typically have a master’s or doctoral degree. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) gives nurses the additional knowledge and credentials needed to stay relevant in a changing industry. Additionally, hospitals and health care facilities are hiring more nurses who have earned an MSN so demand for nurses with this degree is increasing. Not only are nurses with an MSN more prepared, they have the ability to earn higher salaries and are eligible for additional workplace opportunities.
Furthermore, having more nurses with MSN degrees will help with some of today’s biggest health care challenges:
- Problem: Shortage of primary care physicians
There has been a shortage of primary care physicians for decades. It is predicted that by 2025, the United States could face a shortage of 90,000 doctors. As a result, advanced practice nurses are in high demand as a way to help fill the void.
Solution: To help solve for the shortage of primary care physicians, many states are considering legislation to compensate nurse practitioners and nurse midwives the same amount as physicians receive for performing similar services. Often, in order to qualify for an advanced practice nurse position, one must have a minimum of an MSN degree.
- Problem: Hospitals aren’t ready for new patient care challenges
Advances in technology are leading to swift changes in patient care and nurses aren’t always ready to implement new techniques when they are introduced in their facilities.
Solution: Graduate degrees allow nurses to specialize in many different areas and stay up to date with the latest advances in patient care.
- Problem: Shortage of educators
Nursing schools are actually turning qualified applicants away because they lack teachers for the additional students. Studies show that in 2010, more than 67,000 promising applicants were turned away from nursing schools due to a lack of instructors.
Solution: Nurse educators are in huge demand and an MSN degree qualifies nurses to teach and lead clinical classes for other nurses. A master’s degree is also the gateway to a PhD and a career in higher education.
Think you are too busy to earn an MSN? You aren’t alone. Earning a master’s degree takes serious commitment, and many nurses wonder how they’ll fit more into their busy schedules. Fortunately, today there are more options than ever before. Online programs can provide the flexibility many nurses need to fit studying in around their busy schedules. Most online programs simply require that you take one course at a time and there are many scholarships and grants to help you cover the cost.
Looking to be a part of the solution to help solve some of today’s biggest health care challenges? Learn more about how you can do so with the online Master’s in Nursing program at Benedictine University by calling us at (866) 295-3104 or visiting us at http://online.ben.edu/programs/msn.
Additional information can be found at: http://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/bhpradvisory/nacnep/reports/eighthreport.pdf