degree-of-interest: Master of Science in Nursing 11 Reasons Why Earning a Master’s Degree Can Make You a Better Nurse Marketing and Communications | October 3, 2023 While earning an undergraduate degree in nursing is a great start to developing the skills you’ll need in this line of work, a master’s degree can help you gain expertise and develop more advanced skills. What is a master’s degree in nursing? This is an advanced degree that covers nursing leadership skills, along with more in-depth knowledge of nursing concepts. With a graduate degree in nursing, you can excel in your field and find opportunities to take on higher-level tasks or leadership roles. Knowing more about the benefits of having a master’s degree in nursing can help you decide if you want to follow this path in your career. 11 Ways Earning a Master’s Degree Can Make You a Better Nurse What is the value of a master’s degree in nursing? Deciding to earn this type of degree will involve time and effort on your part. You’ll also need to take tuition and other costs into consideration when making this decision. Earning a master’s degree in nursing can help you become a better nurse and provide the following benefits: 1. More Job Opportunities Earning an advanced nursing degree can lead to different kinds of job opportunities in this field, such as nurse practitioner or advanced practice registered nurse. These types of nursing jobs are expected to be in high demand over the next several years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the job outlook for nurse practitioners and other higher-level nursing jobs is 40 percent through 2031. For comparison, BLS states that the job outlook for registered nurses in the same timeframe is 6 percent. 2. Gain More Skills Taking on a leadership role or a more advanced position in nursing typically means having the right skills. Your undergraduate degree in nursing helped you learn some vital skills for nurses, but you might not have the skills needed for higher-level nursing roles. You can work on developing these skills during a master’s degree program. For example, you might develop the skills required for managing a nursing department or handling other leadership responsibilities. 3. Potential for Leadership Roles You might not currently have the opportunity to move up in your nursing job since many of these positions require a master’s degree or higher. For example, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives usually need to have at least a master’s degree. Earning your graduate degree can also put you in a better position to move up to a leadership role. A master’s degree program gives you the training needed to take on more challenging roles and responsibilities in the nursing field. 4. Hours That Better Suit You Working as a registered nurse often comes with an unpredictable schedule, depending on where you work. Being a nurse in a hospital might require you to work evenings, overnight shifts, weekends, and even holidays. You might also have long shifts, such as 12-hour shifts, which can wear you out. Having an advanced degree and moving up to a higher nursing position could come with a more stable schedule. You might be able to accept a position with traditional office hours during the week, making it easier for you to make plans in your personal life and improve your work-life balance. 5. You Become More Knowledgeable in the Field of Nursing Going through a master’s degree program can help you gain in-depth knowledge in several areas of nursing. Your graduate degree program curriculum might include courses such as advanced pharmacology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pathophysiology. Taking these courses helps you learn more about these areas of nursing, improve the quality of care you provide, and prepare you with the knowledge needed for an advanced role in the nursing field. 6. Grow Your Professional Network Networking isn’t just for business professionals. As a nurse, your network can help you learn about job opportunities and gain insight into different aspects of nursing. You might not have many chances to build a network in your current job, so a master’s degree program can help you grow your professional network. During this kind of program, you’ll have opportunities to attend conferences and other events where you can meet other nursing and healthcare professionals, not to mention the relationships you’ll build with your instructors and fellow students. 7. Become a Nurse Practitioner Nurse practitioners (NPs) have several tasks that you might not currently be handling in your nursing career. Becoming an NP means you can take on greater responsibilities as part of your job, such as prescribing medication, treating diseases, and even handling certain kinds of procedures, such as biopsies. NPs can also specialize in a certain area of nursing, such as cardiology, pediatrics, or family practice. 8. Personal Fulfillment Earning a master’s degree in nursing can provide you with a deep sense of personal fulfillment, both professionally and personally. As you deepen your knowledge and expertise in your field and provide better care for your patients, you may experience a sense of professional satisfaction, knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of others. You may be filled with feelings of accomplishment and pride in your work as you take on your new responsibilities. Graduate school can be a challenging and rewarding experience, requiring dedication, hard work, and a commitment to lifelong learning. When you graduate from a master’s in nursing program, you have proven to yourself and others that you are capable, helping to improve your confidence. 9. Job Security Working as an NP or an advanced practice nurse can provide a secure and stable career. The high job outlook for these nursing positions indicates that their demand will continue to be strong in the coming years. Having this kind of job security can give you peace of mind that you won’t have to worry about layoffs or downsizing that affects other industries. 10. Gain Respect in the Workplace The expertise that comes with earning a master’s degree means you can look forward to gaining respect at work. Since you’ll have more in-depth knowledge and advanced skills, other nurses and healthcare professionals might ask for your insight on patient care or other matters. You can put your master’s degree knowledge and skills to use in these situations to help make improvements to your workplace. 11. Become a Mentor After gaining new skills and knowledge in your graduate degree program, you can share what you’ve learned with others. Taking on new nurses as a mentor allows you to teach and guide them, helping them learn more effective ways to handle certain tasks or develop new skills. This generosity on your part can lead to improvements in patient care and greater job satisfaction for new nurses. Earn Your Degree, Today If you’re exploring ways to improve your nursing skills and expertise, please contact Carson-Newman University. Our Christian liberal arts university offers a Master of Science in Nursing program. This fully online program is ideal for nurses who want to earn a master’s degree while continuing to work full-time.