As a nurse, you probably have a busy life already. Therefore, including a graduate nursing program in your fixed-up schedule may seem like more trouble than it deserves. Although returning to school is a considerable commitment, bagging your master’s degree in nursing, just like any other field, is essential to going forward in the nursing career.

Thankfully, the rate of increase in online nursing master’s programs has made it relatively easier to further your education. A typical MSN program lasts for about two academic years or approximately 24 months.

However, a lot of nursing professionals combine studying for their master’s and still maintaining full-time jobs. So, it can take a longer time to round off the program. If you are considering getting a master’s degree in nursing, the following reasons can spur you to take the giant step.

7 Reasons To Get a Master’s in Nursing

Advancement of Career

As a nurse with an undergraduate degree, going back to the classroom to get a master’s degree is a good way to advance your career by helping to improve your job prospects. Options include becoming a nurse educator, nurse manager, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, researcher, nurse anesthetist, nurse informatics, and nurse administrator, to mention a few.

There is no doubt that when you have an MSN degree highlighted in your resumé or CV, it will attract more employers, and you will have a guarantee that you will get invited to a higher number of interviews.

Higher Pay

As a nurse with an MSN, employers will most likely be impressed with the extra skill, knowledge, and expertise that a master’s title carries and will then be more inclined to employ you and give you a competitive wage.

Based on the recent report by Nurse.com, the salary of nurses increases with advancement in education level. Depending on the specialty, the average BSN nurse earns about $73,000, while an MSN-prepared nurse earns $90,000 or more. Higher pay is one of the biggest reasons a master’s degree in nursing is worth it.

In addition, an increment in wages can help in negating the cost of advancing in your nursing education, as some registered nurses receive a kind of reimbursement for their advanced education in nursing. This assistance will help to ease the burden of financing your courses.

Increased Respect

A lot of healthcare experts, including health affairs, and top-tier public health journals, predict a shift toward team-based management. As a good number of healthcare professionals strive for master’s and even doctoral degrees as entry points, registered nurses that have only a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) are at the risk of being left behind.

In order to be on equal footing with physical therapists, mental health providers, clinical pharmacists, and all those with advanced degrees, nurses need to increase their levels of education.

An MSN is the best way to prove to fellow providers that the nurses on the team value scientific knowledge and cutting-edge research as much as all other healthcare professions.

Better Hours

Another reason you should consider getting a master’s in nursing is due to the fact that the majority of advanced practice nurses usually enjoy the privilege of better work hours, compared to ordinary registered nurses. An MSN is a good ticket to a healthier work-life balance.

Although hospital and office nurse practitioners still need to receive calls, they generally do not need to work as many night shifts or weekends as a staff registered nurse.

For MSN nurses who choose other specialty areas like teaching, research, or writing, their hours are quite regular, and they do not need to cover non-office hours.

In the same way, as a nurse with a family or who prefers 9-5 hours, you will be more likely to enjoy the benefits of a more standard working hours schedule if you pursue a master’s degree in nursing. This will give you more time for yourself and with family and friends.

Increase in Knowledge Base

A very good reason to study for an advanced degree in any field is for increased understanding. An MSN will give room for you to build on the knowledge base you built during your undergraduate study and then help you cultivate a deeper understanding of the medical field and your area of specialty.

With enhanced knowledge, there is a high chance of you feeling more confident and satisfied in your work, being aware that you are offering your best care. Having an extensive background in advanced nursing education creates a better nurse that is capable of elevating the quality of patient care.

It also creates a nurse who has exceptional nursing skills in a variety of areas such as physical assessment, leadership, and advancing the nursing practice.

Leadership Opportunities

A more robust knowledge base not only positions you to better care for patients, but it also gives you the opportunity to become a leader and provide guidance to your fellow nurses. Earning a master’s degree in nursing has the potential to crown you to be a knowledge leader in your organization.

Opens the Door to More Career Options

Bagging a master’s degree in nursing makes you eligible for a higher number of jobs and creates several new avenues for employment, even outside of the nursing profession. Numerous fields are searching for employees that are master’s prepared.

There might be opportunities for you to expand your horizons beyond traditional nursing roles by working in the private industry in positions like health coach, community services manager, safety director, or quality improvement director, to mention a few.

Take the Step

It definitely appears that getting your MSN degree is a win-win situation and worth the effort to achieve your goals as a well-seasoned nurse.

No doubt that earning an advanced degree in nursing is no easy feat. Yet, once you are ready, the reasons stated above can provide you with the ultimate motivation you need to take the plunge. Hence, do not stop at a BSN degree. Take the next bold step toward getting a nursing master’s degree.