8 Reasons Nurses Should Pursue an MSN

Nurses are one of the most significant members of the healthcare team. They provide care to patients, educate families, and collaborate with other health professionals to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. Nurses are also on the front line of patient care and often have more contact with patients than any other healthcare provider. 

Therefore, all nurses must strive to improve their knowledge and skills. By enrolling in higher level degrees, such as MSN, they can specialize in a specific area of patient care, such as pediatrics or geriatrics, and improve patient care. A higher degree also makes them more marketable in today’s job market.

However, this is just one of the advantages of an MSN. Here are eight more reasons why nurses should pursue an MSN:

1. Increased job opportunities

Though an RN designation is the minimum requirement to work in the nursing field, an MSN can provide nurses with various job opportunities.

With an MSN, nurses can specialize in geriatrics, informatics, nurse-midwifery, or nurse anesthesia. They can also take on leadership roles, such as working as a nurse educator or administrator. In addition, an MSN can prepare nurses for advanced practice roles, such as becoming certified nurse educators, advanced practice nurses, or clinical nurse specialists.

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, an MSN can give nurses the skills and knowledge they need to stay ahead of the curve. It will enable them to remain competitive in the job market.

2. Better Quality of Life

Pursuing an MSN can be a very effective way to improve one’s quality of life. For one, MSN programs are available online, allowing nurses to study around their work schedules. Nurses who enroll in online MSN programs often find that they have a better work-life balance.

Another reason is leading roles in the field. Nurses with an MSN often have the opportunity to work in leadership roles, which can mean fewer working hours, less stress, and more control over their work lives.

3. Higher salaries

When choosing a nursing career path, there are many factors to consider. For some nurses, pursuing an MSN may come down to simple economics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for registered nurses is $73,300 per year. However, nurses with an MSN can earn significantly more.

The BLS reports that the median salary for nurse practitioners is $110,930 per year. For nurses looking to specialize in unique areas such as neonatal care or senior care, the MSN can provide the advanced training necessary to get higher salaries.

In addition, many hospitals offer tuition reimbursement programs for nurses pursuing an MSN, making it easier to finance advanced degrees. Although the decision to pursue an MSN should be based on various factors, the potential for higher salaries is a strong incentive for many nurses.

4. More responsibilities and autonomy

One of the main reasons that nurses should pursue an MSN is because they will have more responsibilities and autonomy. For example, FNPs may take on more direct patient care roles or become involved in patient education and discharge planning.

In addition, many nurse practitioners have private practices, allowing them much more control over their work lives. For example, they may set their hours, choose their patients, and make decisions about diagnosis and treatment. This increased autonomy can lead to a better work/life balance and greater satisfaction with one’s career.

5. Improved patient outcomes

Nurses should pursue an MSN because it can lead to better patient care. Studies have shown that nurses with an MSN degree can provide more comprehensive care and make positive clinical decisions. They are also better able to work collaboratively with other healthcare team members.

With more qualified and capable nurses, patients will receive better care.

6. Increased Prestige and Respect from Peers

When most people think of nurses, they think of individuals who provide basic medical care and support. However, nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system, and their responsibilities have increased in recent years.

An MSN can provide nurses with the advanced skills and knowledge they need to deliver high-quality patient care. In addition, an MSN can also lead to increased prestige and respect from peers. This is because an MSN demonstrates that a nurse is willing to invest the time and energy necessary to become a leader in the nursing profession. 

7. Broader scope of practice

The average person doesn’t know much about the different types of nurses out there. You have licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and nurse practitioners (NPs), to name a few. The main difference between these types of nurses is the scope of their practice.

LPNs typically provide bedside care and carry out doctors’ orders. RNs usually have more responsibilities, such as patient assessment and creating care plans. NPs are even more autonomous, often serving as primary care providers. They can prescribe medication, order diagnostic tests, and provide referrals to specialists.

The scope of practice for RNs has expanded in recent years, but NPs still have a broader scope of practice. This is why many nurses pursue an MSN instead of just an RN license. With an MSN, nurses can gain the education and training needed to become an NP, opening up new career opportunities.

9. Greater research opportunities

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, nurses are increasingly pursuing advanced degrees to stay abreast of the latest developments in their field. One of the most significant benefits of earning an MSN is opening up a world of new research opportunities. Through coursework and clinical rotations, MSN students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to design and carry out high-quality research projects.

In addition, many MSN programs offer opportunities to collaborate with experienced researchers on ongoing projects. Pursuing an MSN can allow nurses to develop their research skills and contribute to evidence-based care.


Pursuing an MSN can open up new career opportunities and provide nurses with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality patient care. With an MSN, nurses can also benefit from increased earnings potential, improved patient outcomes, increased respect from peers, broader scope of practice, and greater research opportunities. For these reasons, earning an MSN is a great way for nurses to advance their nursing careers.


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