If I Have an MSN, Does That Mean I Have to Leave the Bedside?
Earning a master's degree in nursing is a momentous step in a nurse's career. It opens doors to higher-level nursing positions and allows the nurse to expand his or her practice. However, some nurses who earn an MSN do not wish to leave bedside nursing. After all, caring for patients directly is why many nurses got into the field of nursing in the first place. So, does earning an MSN mean that nurses have to move up the clinical ladder and away from direct patient care?
The answer is not necessarily. While many MSN-prepared nurses earn the degree to move up the ladder into management, executive, educator, or practitioner roles, not all have those goals in mind. Some nurses simply wish to expand their knowledge base to improve their bedside care. For example, a nurse can earn an MSN in education to be able to utilize their skills when teaching patients. An MSN in quality may improve a nurse's practice style as a whole. MSN-prepared nurses can also become nurse practitioners and assume the role of a primary care provider for patients.
Additionally, healthcare is continuously changing. MSN-prepared nurses are skilled in changing along with it and identifying healthcare-related issues along the way. They are proficient in problem-solving using evidence-based solutions. What better way to identify concerns than being on the front lines? In short, nurses can improve their bedside care dramatically by earning an MSN.
Other benefits of working at the bedside with an MSN include:
- Enhanced assessment skills
- Improved critical thinking
- Improved leadership skills
- A higher level of patient advocacy
So, while master's degrees prepare nurses for higher-level positions, they don't necessarily have to work in those positions. It's important to note, however, that employers have their own unique hiring process. While one employer may jump at the chance to hire an MSN nurse into a bedside caregiver role, another employer may deem an MSN nurse "overqualified" for the position and pass him or her up. This is not always the case, but nurses should keep this in mind.
Nurses are lucky; they have many ways in which to develop professionally. Deciding to earn a higher degree is an individual choice, and nurses have many reasons why they choose to return to school. Whatever role the nurse selects, more education not only benefits the nurse but benefits patients as well.
- Nurse Manager Leadership Recommendations for Staff Engagement and Success - January 2, 2018
Our Visitors Found These Nursing Topics Useful
Nurses are lucky. Because there are so many facets of healthcare and a variety of care specialties, nurses have a broad range of educational opportunities. Not only can they be employed in a specific care area, but there is also…
Boards of Nursing are challenged to protect the health and welfare of the public by assuring that only competent and safe nursing care is being provided by licensed nurses of high moral character. Moral character can be assessed through a…
Nurses spend their lives caring for others. They care for patients at work, take care of their families, and even look after their friends. It's ingrained in their DNA. However, nurses also view their community as their "family" and take…
Nurses are not just limited to the tasks of bedside care. Many nurses are creative and come up with innovative ideas to improve the areas in which they work. In fact, some nursing programs incorporate leadership and management courses which…
With so much attention on the nurses these past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to take a moment to recognize the immense value that all team members play in healthcare: Housekeeping These are our silent heroes…