Master’s in Nursing Salary

masters in nursing salary

There has been a recent trend in nursing toward hiring more experienced, more highly educated nurses. It may be easier for a nurse with a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) to find a job than one with simply a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). 

Learn how your registered nursing salary compares. 

As well as increased employment opportunity, having an MSN provides more freedom and independence for a nurse. However, the amount of schooling and extra cost involved in obtaining this higher level of education can be off-putting; to counteract the higher upfront costs, those with a MSN will earn more than their BSN counterparts.

Where Nurses With an MSN Can Work

Nurses with an MSN have employment opportunities than their BSN or Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) counterparts. These nurses can work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, or as independent or home healthcare practitioners. In addition, they can work in educational capacities in schools and universities. Typical duties of an a nurse with an MSN include:

  • Monitoring patient status
  • Educating patients
  • Supervising nurses with lower levels of education
  • Creating and implementing treatment plans
  • Monitoring patient outcomes.

The exact requirements may vary depending on career chosen. Common careers of nurses with MSN degrees include working as a Nurse Practitioner (NP), in an executive role, or as a midwife.

NPs have the opportunity to work more independently than their counterparts, creating their own diagnoses and developing and implementing treatment.

Nurse administrators, or healthcare executives, focus on patient care and satisfaction through improving other nursing personnel. This career entails extensive communication between nurses, patients, corporate entities, and investors.

Nurse midwives assist mothers throughout the entire birthing process. This includes pre-birth assessments, education on birthing techniques, and ensuring the safety of both mother and child during and after birth.

MSN Degree Salary

Nurses with an MSN degree can expect to earn around $84,000 a year. This number is variable, based on a number of factors including setting, state, experience, certifications, and facility. Some roles, such as working as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), pay very highly. CRNAs can expect to earn around $150,000 a year - almost double the average salary for a nurse with an MSN.

Nurses who pursue a career in education can expect a lower salary, but reap other benefits through the satisfaction that comes with providing education to the next level of patient care providers. The state one works in can also significantly affect the salary of a nurse with an MSN degree. This difference can be significant, but nurses must still factor in cost of living and other locational costs.

In addition to the high starting salary, most jobs for nurses with MSN degrees offer excellent long-term prospects, meaning even more competitive pay.

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