masters degree in nursing

Earn Your Master's in Nursing in 18 Months and Witness Up to a 30% Salary Rise

Continuing education is already a requirement for registered nurses, so why not take the opportunity to advance your career? Earning a Master's in Nursing (MSN) can open up new career prospects and potentially lead to an increase in salary for registered nurses. Many nurses pursue an MSN to advance their clinical knowledge and skills, specialize in a particular area of nursing, or take on leadership roles in healthcare. Here's how earning a master's degree in the field of nursing can help you!

The Advantages of a Master's in Nursing

While the idea of returning to school for an extended period of time might sound daunting, the truth is that earning a Master's degree in Nursing isn't as challenging or time-consuming as it sounds. many MSN programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, and that's a small price to pay for a better job title and increased wages. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earn a median yearly income of around $77K, whereas advanced practice registered nurses with master's degrees can command a median annual wage of over $123K. And we don't need to tell you what a huge difference that extra income could make in your life!

Here's a general overview of how pursuing an MSN can lead to career advancement and a potential salary increase:

  1. Specialization: MSN programs often offer various specializations, such as Nurse Practitioner (NP), Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator, and more. By choosing a specialization, nurses can focus on a specific area of expertise and become highly skilled in that field.

  2. Advanced Practice: Nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists, among others, are advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority. They can diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, and take on roles traditionally held by physicians, which often come with higher salaries.

  3. Leadership Roles: MSN graduates are well-prepared for leadership positions in healthcare settings. Nurse managers, directors of nursing, and other leadership roles typically come with higher compensation due to increased responsibilities.

  4. Increased Demand: As the healthcare industry evolves, there is a growing demand for highly educated and specialized nurses. MSN graduates are often in high demand, which can lead to increased job opportunities and negotiating power for higher salaries.

  5. Salary Differentials: Many healthcare institutions offer salary differentials or bonuses for nurses who attain advanced degrees like an MSN. This can provide an immediate increase in earnings.

  6. Clinical Hours: Some MSN programs require clinical hours, which can be paid positions. While completing these hours, nurses can earn income while gaining valuable experience.

  7. Geographic Location: Salaries for nurses, including those with MSNs, can vary significantly depending on geographic location. Certain regions or states may offer higher salaries to attract and retain qualified healthcare professionals.

  8. Experience and Certification: In addition to holding an MSN, nurses can further increase their earning potential by gaining experience and obtaining relevant certifications in their specialty.

It's important to note that while earning an MSN can lead to career advancement and a potential salary increase, the exact impact on salary can vary widely based on factors such as location, the specific nursing role, years of experience, and the healthcare facility or organization. Additionally, the length of time it takes to complete an MSN program can vary, but programs designed for working nurses often offer accelerated options like the 18-month timeline mentioned.

Nurses considering pursuing an MSN should research programs, evaluate their career goals, and carefully consider the financial investment required for tuition and other expenses. It's also a good idea to speak with current MSN holders and professionals in the desired nursing specialty to gain insights into the potential career and salary outcomes.

Last Updated: September 12, 2023