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Revitalize Your Nursing Career with an Online Master's Degree

By Joe Aguilar

As an experienced nurse, you might wonder why, with the medical industry plagued by a chronic nursing shortage, you would need to get your master�s degree. On one hand the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities for nurses will grow faster than average in all specialties through 2014, ensuring job security for years to come. However, nursing is also a very high burnout occupation, and at some point you may wish to explore other career options. By earning your online master�s degree, you can improve your skills and become qualified for a larger variety of challenging careers in your field.

Master�s Career Path #1: Nurse Educator

Because most nurses end their formal education at the bachelor�s level, there is a severe shortage of nurse educators. A master�s degree in nursing will qualify you to teach clinical practices to aspiring nurses.

Master�s Career Path #2: Nurse Practitioner

An aging population is fueling the need for alternative methods of delivering routine care. Nurse practitioners diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions, including prescribing medication. Most states require nurse practitioners to work under the supervision of physicians.

Master�s Career Path #3: Nurse Manager

Although many nurse managers have only a bachelor�s degree, employers are increasingly requiring a master�s degree. Nurse mangers often have to understand the clinical and regulatory concerns of a variety of medical departments, from pediatrics to long-term care.

Statistics show that the average adult has three to four careers over a lifetime. An online master�s degree in nursing from a nursing school can give you a wider set of career options without requiring you to start over on the bottom rung of the organizational ladder.

Sources:

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
�Don�t Drop the Ball: A Nurse Manager�s Expanding Duties,� Nurseweek.com
National Association for Practical Nursing Education and Service


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