Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs that prepare students to work as nurse practitioners nearly always require applicants to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Most nurse practitioner master's degree students select a specialty, such as adult care, family practice, pediatrics, women's health or geriatrics. Many MSN nurse practitioner programs facilitate student research, and they typically culminate in either a thesis or comprehensive exam.
Master of Science in Nursing Programs
In addition to having a BSN, applicants to nurse practitioner MSN program typically must be a registered nurse (RN) and meet a GPA requirement. Most programs require applicants to have at least one year of clinical experience. Coursework in nurse practitioner master's degree programs combines rigorous academic work with hands-on, clinical learning. Pharmacology classes are often required because nurse practitioners can prescribe medication. Classes often vary according to specialty. Here are a few classes that might appear in the curriculum:
- Ethics and public policy in healthcare
- Health assessment
- Evaluation of common health problems
- Child and adolescent development
- Family practice methods
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment of nurse practitioners will increase 35% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS noted that nurse practitioners will be in particularly high demand in under-served areas. As of 2015, these professionals earned median salaries of $98,190.
RNs with a BSN and a year of clinical experience may seek enrollment in an MSN program for nurse practitioners. Through hands-on training, in-class training and research participation, these programs will provided the extra skills needed to serve as a nurse practitioner.