As a nursing professional, you have a few avenues for career development. One of the most common pathways is to pursue a master’s degree in nursing. But is going back to school worth it? If you’re thinking about getting your MSN to advance your career, here are some of the pros and cons you should be thinking about before making the decision.

You’ll Need a Bachelor’s Degree First

To start a master’s program in nursing, just like any other field, you’ll need to obtain a bachelor’s degree first. If you haven’t already, this extends your time in school significantly. However, there are a few avenues that can get you on track. A direct-entry MSN allows individuals with unrelated bachelor’s degrees and no nursing experience a chance to take entry-level coursework first. You can enroll immediately into an MSN program if you have a BSN. If you have a two-year degree, an option known as RN-MSN allows you to bridge the gap without getting a BSN first.

You’ll have New Career Opportunities

One of the most significant advantages of obtaining an MSN is new career paths and specializations. Some hospitals and systems require MSNs for certain positions. Advanced practice roles such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists require an MSN before being considered for those jobs.

You’ll Invest a Lot of Time

One thing to keep in mind is that an MSN is a commitment. Like most master’s degree programs, MSNs generally take two to three years to complete. Many people continue to work full time, which can impact your overall quality of life and commitment to things outside of work and school. This will be something you have to weigh if you believe it’s your best career move.

You Can Earn a Higher Salary

Most people consider obtaining a master’s degree because of the promise of higher salaries. That’s certainly the case with MSN programs and long-term careers. The areas of practice requiring an MSN also pay significantly more than other nursing positions. These salary ranges can be nearly double what RNs typically earn annually.

The Program is Expensive

But the promise of money isn’t always the best reason to go back to school. Programs like this are expensive, and you may have to take out extensive student loans to consider it. Even if you earn more money it will still take a while to break even or pay back your loans. Take this into consideration while you make the decision.

Find Your Next Opportunity

Whether you decide an MSN program is right for you or not, you’ll be in the market for a new position. We can help you. Working with recruiters who specialize in healthcare placements can give you the help you need to find a great opportunity that fits your skills, long-term goals, and interests.


Are you ready for your next nursing job? Contact the team at Fortus Healthcare Solutions today.

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