Questions to Ask Before Pursuing an MSN Degree

Earn Your Master of Science in Nursing with NMSU Global Campus.

Nurses are in high demand, and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can open doors to exciting new career opportunities, leadership roles, and increased earning potential. If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’re considering taking the next steps in earning your master’s degree from a reputable program.

This guide will help you make informed decisions about your MSN journey. We’ll explore key questions to ask about nursing programs, the different specializations available, and how an MSN degree from NMSU Global Campus can benefit your career.

A nurse counsels a young man wearing a cast on his leg.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Nursing?

A master’s in nursing opens many doors in a high-demand career field. With this advanced degree, you can elevate your career to: 

  • Take on leadership roles
  • Specialize in various areas of nursing
  • Conduct research
  • Pursue teaching opportunities

Nursing is a broad field. With an MSN degree, you can choose to focus on a particular pathway within nursing. A master’s in nursing also helps to lay the groundwork to prepare you for an advanced role in these areas:

  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Nursing Practitioner 
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Occupational Health Nurse
  • Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Administrator on Duty
  • Director of Nursing
  • Quality Improvement Coordinator
  • Unit Level Manager/Supervisor

Questions to Ask About Nursing Programs

Before committing to an MSN program, it’s important to ask pertinent questions to ensure it aligns with your overall goals and career objectives. Here are some essential questions to consider.

What Specialties Does the MSN Program Offer?

Different MSN programs may specialize in various areas, such as nursing administration, nurse education, nurse informatics, or advanced clinical practice. Investigate which specialties are available and assess whether they align with your career interests.

For NMSU Global Campus, we offer a specialized MSN Degree option in Nursing Leadership and Administration. 

Is the MSN Program Accredited?

Accreditation ensures that a nursing program meets established quality standards and prepares students for licensure and professional practice. Look for programs accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). NMSU Global Campus offers a 100% online program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, focusing on the quality improvement of nursing administrations.

What is the MSN Curriculum Like?

Review the list of courses and other program requirements to assess their relevance to your career goals. Evaluate whether the curriculum covers essential topics within your chosen specialty and offers opportunities for hands-on learning and clinical experiences. Consider factors like course flexibility, online resources, and the expertise of faculty members to ensure a robust educational experience.

What Are the Admission Requirements for the MSN Program?

Familiarize yourself with the admission prerequisites of the MSN program. Determine if you meet the requirements, including holding a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), possessing RN licensure, and meeting minimum GPA thresholds. Additionally, ask about any entrance exams or application essays required for admission.

At NMSU Global Campus, our RN-to-MSN program is available to nurses who hold an RN license and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

What Support Services Are Available for MSN Students?

Explore the support services provided by the program to help you along your academic journey. Looks for services like academic advising, career counseling, and technical assistance. Access to these resources can enhance your learning experience, provide guidance during challenges, and contribute to your overall success as a student.

What Are the Cost and Financial Aid Options?

The cost and financial aid options vary depending on the institution offering the MSN program. Generally, tuition fees can range from $20,000 to $80,000 or more for the entire program. Financial aid options typically include federal student loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study programs.

Some schools may also offer payment plans or discounts for upfront payments. It’s advisable to contact the specific institution’s financial aid office to explore all available options and determine eligibility. Learn more about cost and financial aid options at NMSU Global Campus.

How Can an MSN in Leadership and Administration Prepare Me for My Next Career Move?

An MSN in Leadership and Administration equips nurses with the knowledge and skills to transition from bedside care into leadership roles within healthcare organizations. This program focuses on healthcare delivery’s administrative and business aspects, preparing you to guide complex systems, manage resources effectively, and lead teams toward improved patient care.

Nurses with a Master’s in Leadership and Administration can pursue a variety of roles, including:

  • Nurse Manager: Overseeing daily operations within a specific unit or department, such as emergency room, intensive care, or pediatrics. Responsibilities include staff scheduling, budget management, and ensuring quality patient care.
  • Director of Nursing: Providing leadership and direction for the entire nursing staff within a healthcare facility. Duties include developing and implementing nursing policies, overseeing performance evaluations, and advocating for nurses’ needs.
  • Clinical Supervisor: Guiding and mentoring a team of nurses, providing support, and ensuring adherence to best practices. Responsibilities often include staff development, performance evaluations, and patient safety initiatives.
  • Case Manager: Coordinating care for patients with complex medical conditions and working with a team of healthcare professionals to develop and implement care plans.
  • Chief Nursing Officer: Occupying the most senior leadership role in the nursing division and overseeing the general vision, strategy, and day-to-day activities of nursing services.

An MSN in Leadership and Administration also opens doors to non-traditional leadership roles, such as:

  • Education: Instructing future nurses in clinical settings or academic institutions.
  • Quality Improvement: Leading initiatives to improve patient care quality, safety, and efficiency.
  • Public Health: Working in government agencies or community organizations to develop and implement public health programs.
  • Healthcare Policy: Advocating for policy changes impacting healthcare delivery and nursing.

By pursuing an MSN in Leadership and Administration, you gain the skills and knowledge to take your nursing career to the next level. This versatile degree opens doors to a wide range of leadership and administrative opportunities within the healthcare system, allowing you to impact patient care and the future of healthcare delivery significantly.

Earn Your Master of Science in Nursing

Pursuing an MSN degree is a worthwhile investment in your future as a nursing professional. You can make informed decisions to propel your career forward by asking the right questions and exploring your options. 

Whether you aspire to specialize in a particular area of nursing or take on leadership roles in healthcare administration, an MSN degree can open doors to exciting opportunities and career advancement. 

Ready to take the next step in your nursing career? Start achieving your goals by exploring the Master of Science in Nursing from NMSU Global Campus and finding the perfect fit for your aspirations.

Our top-tier online programs offer flexibility, affordability, and exceptionally designed online courses, allowing you to pursue your educational goals while balancing work, family, and other commitments.

Become a leader in the nursing field and make a difference in healthcare with an MSN degree from NMSU Global Campus.

About New Mexico State University Global Campus

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At NMSU Global Campus, our mission is to help prepare the next generation of leaders. We focus on offering high-quality education that spans a multitude of disciplines and career pathways. Whether you’re seeking a degree or certification in teaching, science, engineering, healthcare, business, or others, we provide exciting opportunities that can help shape your future. 

NMSU Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), with specialized accreditation offered for some programs. We offer flexible, career-focused 100% online courses and degree options in New Mexico, across the nation, and around the globe. Start your journey with our accessible and affordable degree options.