RN to MSN - Career Benefits and Education Options
Education, Admission Requirements, and Salary
In order for an RN to achieve an MSN and become an advanced practice registered nurse, most programs require a masters program lasting approximately 2 years following the Bachelor of Science Nursing degree. Some programs require at least 1 to 2 years of clinical experience as an RN for admission. In 2004, there were 329 master's programs for nurse practitioners, 218 for clinical nurse specialists, 92 for nurse anesthetists, and 45 for nurse midwives (U.S. Department of Labor). Many programs combine the BSN and MSN degree for the nurse to graduate with two degrees together.
The education includes both classroom learning and clinical requirements. Admissions usually require scores taken from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). In addition, college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and essays, are usually required.
MSN's generally receive a higher salary than BSN's and RN's. The average salary for a RN/BSN is between $43,000 and $63,000. The average salary for a Nurse Practitioner, for instance, is approximately $66,000 and can go up to $90,000 if the nurse owns their own practice.
An RN who is becoming an MSN has much to ponder for the field they are about to enter. It is no longer about just becoming a practitioner. Many RN's become outstanding clinicians; however the doors are open to make a difference in the current financial, political, and health care system. Their training is in leadership, research, clinical learning, and communication skills. This is a formula for success in the dynamic field of nursing.
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