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Gain an Understanding of Different Types of Nurses With an RN to MSN Degree

The nursing field is full of diverse choices regarding specializations for healthcare professionals looking to advance their careers and help patients. Whether just starting as a registered nurse (RN) or contemplating what to do following a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), there are many options to target patient care in several exciting and challenging environments.

The online RN to Master of Science (MSN) degree program from The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) offers two fast-track possibilities for nurses who want to move directly into a master's degree program. This nursing program is directed toward licensed registered nurses who want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and immediately continue their education to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Education, Administration or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

This flexible online degree program combines hands-on practicum experience with the latest nursing theory. Graduates will be qualified for national FNP certification or prepared to set in motion a successful career as a nurse administrator or nurse educator.

Popular Specializations Within the Field of Nursing

A Master of Science in Nursing degree can provide many opportunities. From leadership positions to higher salaries to advanced clinical roles to additional choices of specialization, the benefits of an MSN degree are numerous. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare occupations should grow at a rate of 16% through 2030, which is much faster than the average of other occupations. The multiple specialization options available to nurses allow them to focus on various health conditions or specific patient populations. Different specializations can concentrate on a particular system or part of the body. Here are some current popular specializations within the field of nursing.

  • Nurse Educator. Nurse educators teach the next generation of nurses. They can work in colleges, universities, medical centers and hospitals. Nurse educators often conduct research, write grants, create educational curricula and advise students. According to the BLS, the mean yearly wage for this position is $82,040.
  • Surgical nurse. Surgical nurses, sometimes called operating room nurses, are trained to support during surgery. They can care for patients before, during and after an operation, ensure the operating room is sterile for surgery, or oversee surgical instruments. To specialize as a surgical nurse, an RN needs to become a certified perioperative nurse (CNOR) and a certified nurse first assistant (CNFA). Indeed.com lists the average annual salary for a surgical nurse at $112,677.
  • Nurse manager. Nurse managers can work as department or unit leaders in hospitals and clinics. They recruit and hire new nurses, manage and schedule the nursing staff, create budgets and ensure their team follows regulations and policies. This administrative role typically pays $86,155 per year, according to Indeed.
  • Nurse midwife. A nurse midwife specializes in pregnancy, prenatal care, childbirth and postpartum care. A midwife is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who works in hospitals, clinics and birthing centers. These professionals can also offer reproductive care and preventative healthcare to their patients. The yearly salary for a midwife in the United States is $102,008, on average.

Next Steps

The RN to MSN online degree program offers accelerated courses. Graduates receive a BSN when requirements are met and continue onto their master's degree in one program. They can choose between an MSN Nurse Educator or MSN Nurse Administrator degree track. There's no expiration on previously earned credits, and they can complete clinicals locally.

A streamlined degree like that at UTA allows nurses to propel their careers with an advanced education degree that is affordable, flexible and holistic.

Learn more about The University of Texas at Arlington's RN to MSN online program.


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