Healthcare is a burgeoning industry, not just in America, but around the world. As a litany of developments and disruptions continue to reshape healthcare, nurses have found growing employment opportunities. Increased spending and expanded care have led to a growing breadth of opportunity for nurses to take advantage of, as roles become more specialized and numerous.
However, as demand for nurses increases, so too does the expectation that they be highly qualified. Sometimes, this may mean earning an online Master of Science in Nursing. Indeed, many advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) roles that are in high demand require such a graduate degree for certification. Factors that affect nursing (and healthcare, in general), like technology and an aging population, necessitate that nurses receive education and training on the modern trends that have led to breakthroughs like telemedicine, as well as contributed to strain on available nursing resources.
Upon earning an online MSN degree, nurses can take advantage of a number of opportunities. Here’s a look at some of the most globally in-demand roles for a master’s-educated nurse:
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
FNPs are a popular role for a nurse with an online MSN and can be found in a number of settings and specializations. As APRNs, FNPs can serve as primary care providers in hospitals or clinics and are qualified to diagnose and treat a number of conditions in their patients, who they may see grow from toddlers to adolescents and into adulthood.
A new generation of nurses will always be needed, and knowledgeable, experienced nurses will be needed to teach them. For nurses who have a passion for teaching others or who reach a stage in their careers that leads them to the position, becoming a nurse educator can provide the opportunity to shape the modern nursing workforce. In this position, nurses may teach as faculty in universities or colleges, as well as in research institutions. Nurse educators bridge the gap between the clinic and the classroom and help prepare new nurses for the realities and responsibilities of the job as career mentors, not just instructors.
There’s no better way to experience the global aspect of nursing than by becoming a travel nurse. Whether on assignment domestically or internationally, travel nurses have seen sizable gains in their ranks, as well as increased awareness of the role. Travel nurses are registered nurses who work as contractors with agencies that send them to different areas of need. It’s a great way to see the country or the world while performing critical patient care duties. Certification and licensing are very important for this role. As laws change with borders, travel nurses need to ensure they have requisite qualifications.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Nurses who work as a CRNA have a number of responsibilities that range from helping administer anesthesia to pain management and patient recovery and stabilization after surgery. A job with a high degree of specialization, CRNAs often work with other anesthesiologists, surgeons and dentists, and can be found in a number of settings, including hospitals and independent practice.
Becoming a CRNA can also be a very rewarding career. Nurse anesthetist was ranked as the No. 6 job in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s in — and for good reason. Not only are CRNAs expected to see better-than-average job growth, but nurses in the role also stand to earn a higher salary compared to other roles. The BLS said employment for nurse anesthetists will reach 16 percent between 2016 and 2026. The agency also pegged median wages for nurse anesthetists at $160,000. CRNAs also enjoy a good deal of autonomy but must undergo rigorous training and certification.
There is currently a shortage of nurses, and one of the leading factors behind the shortage is the aging population of America and the world at large. According to Deloitte, the number of persons 65 years and older in the world will increase 8 percent from 2015 to 2020, reaching 604 million. This aging has magnified the need for nurses who can handle senior healthcare:
- By 2040 the number of individuals with diabetes will increase from 415 million to 642 million.
- By 2030, the prevalence of dementia will rise on every continent and double every 20 years after.
Health and Public Policy Nurse
With all the shifts and changes healthcare has experienced in recent times, it has become incumbent on states and nations to craft health and public policy that addresses the needs of modern patient populations. Whether this relates to working on initiatives designed to improve patient safety in developing worlds or helping organizations address the consumer-centric model of healthcare America is transitioning to, there is plenty of room for health and public policy nurses to make an impact on the overall industry.
While research nurses can still engage in clinical duties, individuals who follow this nursing track spend more of their time conducting studies and experiments. Research nurses receive the same education as any other type of registered nurse, but get even more advanced training in areas like data collection and academic writing. An exciting prospect for nurses with a passion for research is that after earning an online MSN, they can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. The PhD is primarily for research-focused nurses, and one of two terminal degrees in the nursing field (alongside the more clinically focused Doctor of Nursing Practice).
For nurses who have worked their way to the C-suite, the payoff can be big; not just in terms of salary (nurse executives can earn more than $200,000 annually), but also autonomy and influence. Having a voice on the board or in executive decision-making is a big responsibility for nurse executives, who can use their platform and leverage to advocate for nurses, patients and overall care improvement. Nurse executives can also deal with regulatory compliance, a key trend for healthcare moving forward, according to Deloitte. Some areas include:
- Cybersecurity and mobility strategies
- Clinical quality and safety
- Data and technology adoption
Consider Duquesne University for your Online MSN
One theme that ties all these in-demand jobs together is the Master of Science in Nursing. With a graduate degree under their belt, nurses can unlock new career paths as the global demand for their profession rises.