Admittedly, different nurses have different goals. Advanced nursing education offer substantial benefits to help them reach those. Here are 3 primary benefits that can help launch a nurse’s career forward:
Nurses who hold advanced degrees have significantly more opportunities for employment as well as amelioration. Having completed an advanced degree demonstrates a commitment to the profession, something sought after by many organizations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Registered Nurses (RNs) with a college education will have better job prospects than those without. In addition, all four advanced practice specialties—clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and nurse anesthetists—will be in high demand in the years ahead, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas."
The demand for nurses has continued to grow in recent years, despite layoffs in most sectors of the U.S. economy. Although nursing generally is somewhat recession-proof, when economic indicators begin to decline, those with advanced nursing degrees typically remain employed more than those with fewer specialty skills and knowledge. This provides the educationally-prepared nurse with a competitive advantage in the market.
With growing concerns over a catastrophic nursing shortage as baby-boomers reach retirement age, many organizations now offer tuition reimbursements for nurses pursuing advanced degrees.
Federal grants are also available to increase health care services in rural and underserved regions. Known as the Nursing Scholarship Program, students earn money for tuition and other fees in exchange for two years of work in underserved areas. Even without these opportunities, few career choices offer as high of a placement rate as nursing.
The opportunities and advantages gained from advanced nursing education are plenty. Through the knowledge and skills he or she gained from these programs, the professional nurse is prepared for diverse roles in local and international communities.
Desirable positions in academia, health care administration, and ground-breaking research initiatives are well within the scope of the advanced practice nurse. He or she can also enjoy clinical autonomy in roles such as a nurse midwife or nurse practitioner. Further education also opens opportunities to serve on local, state and national healthcare and nursing committees, allowing us to give back to the profession and those we serve. By equipping the professional nurse with a range of capabilities, it is also ideal for those who seek active leadership in professional organizations and accreditation agencies.
With these benefits, advanced nursing education opens more opportunities for an inquisitive, knowledge-hungry nurse. He or she must only pick up the book and let the journey begin.