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This article is about what an ASN to MSN program is. You also will learn why this is a good degree to earn today, and how it can greatly benefit your nursing career. It also discusses the skills and knowledge you will develop on an ASN to MSN program. Last, it describes an ASN to MSN degree program that may be a good choice.
What Is an ASN to MSN Degree?
An ASN to MSN degree is a graduate nursing degree that is designed for the nurse who has her associate’s degree in nursing (ASN) and wants to earn her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). This is an advanced graduate degree program that will cover the same material that is in both a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and MSN program. The difference is that it is done together in a compressed format, thereby saving the student a good amount of time and expense.
An MSN degree typically covers this type of advanced nursing skills and knowledge:
- Theoretical foundations of advanced nursing practice
- Statistics for advanced practice nursing
- Research for advanced practice nurses
- Clinical decision making skills
- Pharmacology for advanced practice
- Health assessment
- Primary care practicum
- Caring for aging individuals
- Pathophysiology for advanced practice
Why Earn an ASN to MSN Degree?
It is possible to have a good nursing career with only your associate’s degree. However, you will have much higher earning power with your MSN degree, and many other advantages:
A nurse with an ASN is prepared for general clinical nursing. Graduate degrees in nursing allow you to study a specific specialty in detail. The MSN degree helps you to develop the skills to work in nursing leadership, which are so important for improving the quality of healthcare today. Remember, nurses with an MSN do not simply take orders as a regular RN does. You will be a nursing leader in whatever specialty you select, whether that is nurse practitioner, nurse educator or nurse administration.
A master’s degree in nursing is the standard currently for becoming an nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, certified nurse anesthetist and others.
America is experiencing a serious doctor shortage. This is being made worse by recent healthcare reform and the aging of the American population. It makes sense for highly skilled nurses to close some of the care gap.
As of now, there are 28 states that are even considering legislation that would make it easier for advanced practice nurses to work without physician supervision, and with similar pay as doctors. It is likely that advanced practice nurses with an MSN will have higher demand and pay in the future.
Today, the demand for these nurses is very high and getting higher. Overall, there is a 31% increase in demand for all advanced practice nurses expected from 2014 to 2024.
There is a growing shortage of nurses in the United States, and there is not enough nurse educators to teach at nursing schools. The AACN reported in 2016 that at least 60,000 nursing school students could not be admitted because of a dearth of nurse educators to teach them.
Nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) are most likely to be hired as a nurse educator. But a nurse with an MSN can also be hired by some colleges to educate nurses who are earning their associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
Nurses with their MSN can work in the advanced nursing practice professions, and earn the following median salaries as of 2016:
- Nurse anesthetist: $160,000
- Nurse practitioner: $100,900
- Nurse midwife: $99,700
- Nurse administrator: $81,000
- Nurse educator: $72,000
It Is Easier Than Ever
Earning a graduate degree in nursing is rigorous and challenging. But there are many more options for earning this advanced degree today than decades ago. Today you can earn your MSN mostly online; you can take most or all of your didactic courses on your PC at home. You will need to probably do your clinical practicum in a local healthcare setting. But this can be done very close to your home.
The ASN to MSN option also allows the experienced RN to bypass part of the BSN program and earn your advanced degree faster. Plus, there are many grants and scholarships available now for nurses aiming for their MSN.
Online Option for ASN to MSN Degree
A possible choice for your online ASN to MSN degree is the program below:
Indiana Wesleyan University
This online, accredited ASN to MSN program will build upon your RN work and educational experience through several adult learning modalities. This program is focused on the nursing administration and nursing education specialties only.
The curriculum of the MSN program is aligned with the larger mission of the university, as it embraces a global point of view of healthcare.
The first part of the program delivers the bachelor of science-level nursing material, which is set up according to recommendations found in the American Association Colleges of Nursing in the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice. This content is the foundation for your completion of the MSN-level coursework later in the program.
Note that this program is intense and has a rapid pace. While it is highly rigorous, students also are able to progress quickly from the associate’s degree level to the master degree level in approximately three years.
After you have completed the entire program, you will be eligible to be certified either as a nurse administrator or nurse educator.
A key part of this CCNE-accredited program is the practicum. Your practicum courses provide you with the chance to both integrate and develop your skills and knowledge that are needed to advance in the nursing field.
Students must complete a 245 hour supervised practicum in the nursing administration program. In the nurse educator program, the student must complete at least 140 supervised hours.
Required core courses are:
- NUR-320 Introduction to Baccalaureate Nursing
- NUR-335 Foundations for Professional Practice
- NUR-401 Transcultural Healthcare
- NUR-450 Nursing From a Christian Worldview
- NUR-415 Leadership and Management in Nursing
- NUR-465 Population Health: Local, National, and Global Approaches
Other required courses for both specialties include:
- Theoretical Foundations for Advancing Nursing Practice
- Ethics and Health Policy
- Utilization of Research for Evidence Based Practice
- Management of Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Professional Development for Advanced Practice
Earning an MSN degree is a wise career and educational move that will pay off by providing you with many lucrative career options in the nursing field.
- How to Choose BSN to DNP Program + Online Options
- Choosing MSN to DNP with Online Program Options
- NP vs DNP Degree Differences
- How to Choose BSN to MSN Programs + Online Options
- Why Choose RN to MSN Programs + Online Options
- 5 Reasons to Get an MSN. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://nursinglink.monster.com/education/articles/22045-5-reasons-to-get-a-msn