Does It Really Matter to Get an MSN Degree?We've all been hearing about advancing our nursing education and why a BSN degree isn't entirely enough. Does it really matter if we have an MSN degree? Yes. Let me tell you the top ten reasons why:

  1. Bragging Rights
    You don't have to walk into the nurse’s station and shout out loud that you have an MSN degree. However, if an opportunity arises, for a new position, transfer or committee where it might be required, then you can make your announcement.
     
  2. Employability. 
    In today’s healthcare environment, the usual standard of employability at a preferred company is a BSN. That being said, having an MSN will put you above the competition. Years ago, everyone walked in with an AS in Nursing. Not everyone had a BSN. Now, almost everyone has a BSN. It is all the same, in the end. The bar has risen.
     
  3. Intellectual Growth. 
    No one wants to stay stagnant. There is nothing like a research project, collaborating on a committee, putting together a PowerPoint presentation, and rehearsing it to get the brain going again. Being stimulated intellectually keeps the neurons going and no one wants to lose that momentum.
     
  4. Innovation. 
    Maybe the reasons you went back to school extend beyond getting a hospital position. If you position yourself correctly, you can start a website, teach, do some consulting and create a cottage industry around a new product, you. But you need to complete the end game, the MSN.
     
  5. Being competitive. 
    Don’t think you are the only nurse in town with this idea. Thanks to the power of the Internet, we can Google nurse websites or nurse experts and see that there are tons of innovators out there. But don’t let that scare you.
     
  6. The time to start is now. 
    Now that a new year has started, this is the best time to explore one of your resolutions. If that was going back to school, go to college websites and find one that fits your budget and time constraints. Thankfully, there are many to choose from that will help you achieve your goal.
     
  7. Become an expert. 
    Now that you’ve decided to position yourself as someone who is not only a dreamer but an innovator, this is a great time to find your passion. Are you interested in patient safety, a hot topic, or legal issues? This dovetails nicely into or a clinical specialty like oncology. Going back to school and getting an MSN will help you find your niche.
     
  8. Don’t think it’s too late. 
    Age is not an issue in nursing. If you have your foot in the door and are working in a healthcare setting, there are usually transfer opportunities. Don’t let a few wrinkles in the mirror convince you it is too late to go back to school. Because a year from now, you will still have the extra number and the wrinkles, but will you have the credits under your belt? 
     
  9. The time to start is now. 
    Having an MSN is the best gift you can give yourself. Education is not like buying a car, a computer or an iPhone, all great choices. Because these things will eventually break. An MSN is a piece of paper, true, but the power it will give you is limitless.
     
  10. You are in charge of your future. 
    Do not depend on others to steer the ship. You must be in control of the end product, your future. Having an MSN will take you to new heights that you never imagined. Your income will go up, and incrementally, your self-image will also rise. You can start a website, write a blog, an e-book and become the go-to person in your field. Who knows, you might even do a radio or TV appearance in your area! Can you become a public health or mental health expert? Think of all the possibilities.

 

This topic is sponsored by:

Wherever you are in your nursing career, The University of Alabama offers a distance learning program to help meet your educational needs. Through UA's Capstone College of Nursing you can earn your BSN, MSN, DNP or EdD for Nurse Educators from a name you know. You will enjoy a flat distance learning tuition rate-regardless of residency-while you learn from the same award-winning faculty who are leading the nation in nursing education.