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

Nurses with master's degrees can find careers in other fields that benefit from professionals with medical knowledge and leadership skills. Also, a master's level nurse can find well-paying healthcare-related jobs in the public and private sectors.

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A master's in nursing prepares nurses for expanded opportunities outside of hospital settings. Master's prepared nurses who prefer daytime hours will find that there are numerous career choices where they can work as clinicians, educators, administrators or in jobs that include duties in all of these areas.

Career Options for Master's in Nursing Graduates

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Community College Teacher $71,260 (Post-Secondary Nursing Instructors & Teachers) 24% (Post-Secondary Nursing Instructors & Teachers)
Health Care Administrator $98,350 (Medical and Health Services Managers) 20% (Medical and Health Services Managers)
Health Educator $45,360 16%
Nurse Practitioner 103,880 36%
Public Health Nurse $70,000 (Registered Nurses) 15% (Registered Nurses)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Jobs Can You Do With a Master's in Nursing?

Community College Teacher

Master's level nurses can find jobs teaching in community college nursing education programs. In this role, the nurse typically teaches nursing content and serves as a clinical instructor to associate degree and practical nursing students. The community college nursing teacher is responsible for evaluating learning, assigning grades and attending meetings. The teaching practicum and other education courses typically taken in a master's program in nursing education prepare candidates for teaching.

Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators manage healthcare organizations, including physician's groups and clinics. In a hospital, healthcare administrators might manage large departments. They supervise staff, delegate duties and may be directly involved in hiring managers or administrative staff. Health care administrators also engage in policy development and planning. Graduate nursing courses in organizational development, strategic planning, finance and health informatics are useful in health administration.

Health Educator

Nurses with master's degrees who work as health educators spend their time teaching health-promoting behaviors in community health clinics and similar settings. In this role, the nurse might teach groups or provide one-on-one education. He or she might focus on a specific area such as diabetes education. Participating in a teaching practicum and courses that focus on patient education are useful for master's level nurses in this profession.

Nurse Practitioner

A master's degree is a requirement for anyone who desires the role of a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners may work under the supervision of physicians. Not only do nurse practitioners provide patient care, but they also diagnose and treat certain conditions. Nurse practitioners usually specialize in an area such as pediatrics, geriatrics or nurse mid-wifery. The special courses in those areas prepare them for nurse practitioner roles.

Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses utilize both clinical and teaching skills. Public health nurses focus on primary prevention and may work in public health departments, schools or correctional facilities. In some situations, public health nurses may provide home visits to assess needs and educate patients and provide intervention, especially in maternal and child health or geriatrics. Nurses in master's programs take courses in community health or public health, which can prepare them to work as public health nurses.

A master's in nursing is a degree worth pursuing if a nurse desires to broaden his or her career options. Master's in nursing programs help prepare nurses for leadership and patient care roles that can lead to higher pay.

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