What Can You Do with a Master's in Nursing? header

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Nursing?

If you’re a registered nurse interested in advancing your career, there are plenty of options available, especially with a Master of Science in Nursing. The nursing field is growing due to changes in healthcare, and more nurses with advanced degrees are needed to meet the increased demand. Nurses who already possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing may choose from several Master’s degree options such as a Master of Science-Nurse Practitioner; Master of Science in Nursing-Education; and a dual degree — a Master of Science in Nursing-Master of Business Administration. Many are now offered with courses online to offer flexibility for working nurses with busy schedules and a variety of exciting career options after graduation.

A Master of Science-Nurse Practitioner, or MSN-NP, culminates with the nurse practitioner (NP) licensure exam. NPs are advanced practice nurses that possess the ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients’ conditions by prescribing medications and therapies. Becoming a nurse practitioner is a significant career-advancing move for RNs who would like to broaden their scope of practice. NPs may work in hospitals, clinics, private practices or for health care companies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners enjoyed a median salary of $107,480 in 2017. Nurse practitioners can also specialize in a variety of areas, such as dermatology, cardiology or oncology. Many nurses who enjoy working in a specialty choose to continue serving that particular patient population after becoming a nurse practitioner.

A Master of Science in Nursing-Education program is for those with an interest in educating the current and future generations of nurses. Nurse educators work in a variety of settings and roles, including colleges and universities as faculty members, hospitals as unit nurse educators and in both nursing schools and hospitals as clinical instructors. There is an increasing demand for nurse educators’ highly valued skill sets. The nursing shortage is expected to increase due to an aging population and health care reform, and even more nurse educators are needed to increase the supply of nurses. The National League for Nursing (NLN) estimates that 34,200 new nursing faculty members will be required by 2022 to meet both the increase in demand for nurses, and replace nurses that are retiring.

A Master of Science in Nursing-Master of Business Administration is a dual degree program that primes nurses to lead others and influence change in health care through courses that cover managerial finance in health care, trends in health care administration & management, and how to manage quality in health care. Those who pursue this degree may have an interest in working as a nurse manager, in health care administration or for a health care corporation. Some individuals who hold this degree may work their way up to executive positions after obtaining experience as a manager or director. A medical or health services manager can earn a median annual salary of $98,350.

Whether you choose to advance your education in the Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator or Nursing-MBA areas, GHE’s array of nursing programs can help prepare you for exciting career options. Contact us to find out more!

Read What Can I Do with an MSN, Benefits of Being a Family Nurse Practitioner and Issues in Nursing Today: How Having an MSN Can Help.

If you are interested in more information about GHE's nursing schools and programs, visit our Students page!


Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017). Occupational employment and wages, May 2017: 29-1171 nurse practitioners. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017). Medical and health services managers. 

National League for Nursing. (N.d). NLN nurse educator shortage fact sheet.