MSN – Nurse Practitioner

The MSN for nurse practitioners is a great degree program if you are interested in being a practicing nurse, working directly with patients to provide care. There are several benefits for earning your master’s degree: your salary will be higher than the typical RN, you will have a greater degree of specialization that will make you more employable, and you are able to offer more advanced care and take on more responsibilities with this higher degree.

Requirements for earning an MSN – Nurse Practitioner Degree

In order to be admitted to the degree program, you need to first complete your bachelor’s degree in nursing. Typically, the applicant must have completed 60 semester or 90 quarter hours of required general education coursework including courses in physical science (general or organic chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology), math (introductory statistics), and general social sciences and humanities courses. If you are already an RN with an associate’s degree, you can easily find an RN to MSN program where you will earn your BSN in the process. There are several options. You can either enroll in a part-time or full-time on-campus degree, or you can complete coursework for your degree online from schools like Kaplan, American Sentinel, Grand Canyon, or the University of Cincinnati. In particular, an online program will allow you to do your basic coursework over the Internet and to then fulfill the required clinical practice component within your geographical location. Your coursework will vary depending on your specialization, but the general courses include core courses in:

  • Informatics
  • Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Theory
  • Public Policy
  • Research

Average Salary and Career Data for Nurse Practitioners

The demand for nurse practitioners is growing at a rapid rate. The reason they are in such high demand is due to the fact that fewer and fewer physicians are opting to go into general practice. Nurse practitioners with this advanced degree often fill this void, serving as primary care providers for patients. The median salary for RNs in 2010 was $64,690, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Advanced nurses with a master’s degree can expect to earn higher salaries, depending on their specialty and where they choose to work.

Job Duties for a Nurse Practitioner

After you earn your degree, you can begin working in a number of different medical facilities including: hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, mental care facilities, private practices, and hospices. Your job responsibilities will vary depending on which area you choose to specialize in. Some nurse practitioners work in general medicine, providing basic care to patients. Others may choose a specific specialty such as geriatrics, pediatrics, women’s health, midwifery, acute care, anesthetics, and more.

DNP/MSN with Nurse Practitioner Training Degree Programs