As the American population begins to age, health care professionals are in higher demand than ever before. The options for educated nurses are nearly endless, offering career flexibility in terms of location, specialization, and more. While many nursing professionals choose to stop their education after just an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, a Master in Nursing is a ticket to the top in this profession. Most people who go on to get a Master in Nursing do so after working as a nurse for a number of years. There are a wide range of specializations to study while in graduate school and it’s beneficial for a professional to know exactly which nursing specialty they prefer before going back to graduate school. Most Master in Nursing programs take two years or less to complete and there are even online and part-time programs available for people who wish to continue working as they study. Here are the key elements of a high quality Master in Nursing program.
A Master in Nursing is all about specializing in a particular field of study and professional practice. Some specializations of the top nursing programs include adult-geriatric, family primary care, pediatric primary care, clinical nurse specialist, health systems management, public health nursing, nurse practitioner, and Master in Nursing to PhD. While many master’s programs set nurses up to return to working with the public, some programs branch into research, administration, or management. Nurses with specializations often have an easier time landing jobs and also are paid more. For example, staff nurse makes about $65,570/year while a certified nurse anesthetist (which requires a master’s) will make $156,226/year – a considerable raise.
An extensive research program is often a benchmark for top nursing programs. Nursing programs that focus on research are known for their innovation and making big discoveries that seriously change the field of health care for the better. By graduating with a diploma from a well-known research school, graduates can expect their resume to float to the top of the pile when applying for jobs and with good reason – they have a strong academic base along with experience and passion.
The current outlook for the nursing profession is growing above average at 26%. Professionals with a Master in Nursing will not only enjoy a robust job market but also the flexibility their education and credentials offer them when starting their job search. By researching how long it takes the graduates of different Master in Nursing programs to land jobs after graduation, professionals will be better equipped to choose the best program for themselves.
Below are a ranking of the top Master in Nursing programs. The methodology used for ranking Master in Nursing programs includes interviews with Deans in the field, surveys of students, and more. Rigor of program, program reputation, and previous graduate successes play a large part in program ranking.