Nursing Specialties Graduate Programs are ideal for current nurses looking to expand their professional versatility into a wide range of areas such as Forensic Nursing or Nurse Practitioner specialties. Earning your graduate degree in nursing specialties can position you to enter a variety of nursing niche areas within the healthcare industry. Nursing Specialties encompass a wide range of medical practices including, but not limited to: forensics, public health, gerontology, and mental health. Nursing Specialties graduate degrees prepare Nurse Specialists for rewarding careers as impactful leaders within the healthcare community.
Earning your Master Degree in Nursing can position you to enter several different specialty areas. The biggest difference between an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree in nursing is the skill level achieved. Nurses holding a graduate degree have received more intensive and specialized training and have a deeper base of knowledge than nurses with an undergraduate degree. This generally leads to greater job responsibilities and higher salaries.
Keep in mind that since there are several areas of Nursing Specialties Graduate programs to choose from, it’s important to first narrow down your nursing specialty of choice. If you enjoy working with children, you’ll want to focus on pediatrics programs. If you like working with the aging population, gerontology will be of greater interest to you. Or if your interests are rooted in mental health, a graduate program for psychiatric nurse practitioners may work best for you. A hot new field would be found with forensic nursing programs including masters in forensic nursing and other forensic nursing degrees & schools.
FUN FACT: Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), must earn at least a master’s degree in one of the specialty roles. APRNs must also be licensed registered nurses in their state and pass a national certification exam.[i]
GradSchools.com has easy to use search tools to help you find the program level and format that aligns with your goals. You have the option of conducting a location search to choose a Nursing Specialties graduate program in a different city, state or country, challenging yourself with a new culture and new knowledge. This is a great way to find Graduate nursing schools in general, and you can request information from that school directly from the site.
Once you have a clear sense of the type of Nursing Specialty graduate program you are looking for, it’s helpful to filter your search be degree level. Many Master’s programs can be completed in 1-2 years, while Doctoral programs tend to be more research-based and can run between 2-6 years. Graduate Certificates offer nurses a boost to current credentials and competencies, as well as keep them apprised of innovations, especially in Nurse Informatics.
Choosing a graduate program should reflect your interests and present education level. Some masters programs offer RN-MSN tracks, such as Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) –Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (RN Track), while others such as MSN: Nurse Educator Track or MS in Nursing –Adult Gerontology Practitioner are designed for students who have their BSN.
Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees such as DNP: Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or Graduate Certificate: Forensic Nursing are geared towards students currently holding an MSN.
The job outlook for some of the nursing specialties is extremely favorable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is projected to grow 31 %t from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, and almost double the growth predicted for registered nurses, which is 16% between 2014 and 2024[ii].
If you are an RN with a desire for upward mobility, APRNs earned a median annual wage of $102,670 in 2014, compared to $66,640 by RNs in the same period. This makes now a great time to find an exciting Nursing Specialties Graduate Program on GradSchools.com!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm