How to Accelerate Your Nursing Career with an Advanced Degree

The COVID-19 pandemic made us realize the real value and potential of nurses. They were seen contributing long hours to their work which might have seemed impossible to imagine before the pandemic. Moreover, nurses risked the health of their families and their wellbeing for the sake of their patients. They were undoubtedly the shoulders we needed to cry on when our families weren’t allowed to be near us. But the real question is, are nurses fairly compensated for the efforts they contribute in their jobs? 

A nurse’s salary is highly dependent on several factors. The most important component that influences how much an average nurse makes is their qualification. Registered nurses with more degrees and certifications are more likely to earn significantly more money than other nurses. Besides that, the experience they gain and the skills they pick up on their way also impact their earnings. Besides decent pay, there are countless more reasons to jump into this profession. For starters, nurses will never go out of demand as long as diseases and illnesses persist in the world. Besides that, the respect and dignity nurses receive are unmatched. 

To accelerate your nursing career, you need to fast-pace your learning. An advanced degree might seem like a lot of mental and financial commitment. Even so, it does pay off once you experience growth due to it. The good news is that continuing education is more convenient than ever today due to online education. The first level of advanced qualification in nursing is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. And if you already have AND click here to learn How to Go from ADN to BSN Online. Online education is not just cost-effective, but it allows you to have enough time for work and personal life. Continue reading to find out more.  

  • Better Earning Potential 

While getting an advanced degree might seem a little heavy on the pocket, know that it will pay off in the shape of increased salaries as a nurse. On average, nurses in the US make somewhere between $80,000 and $110,000 annually, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The $30,000 difference can be owed to differing qualifications. 

Two nurses working in the same roles but have different qualifications will have different salaries regardless of who contributes more effort in their job. Most healthcare organizations even have a compulsory requirement that requires you to complete a specific degree to earn a raise. 

  •  Makes You A Potential Candidate For Leadership Roles 

While nursing jobs are challenging, one incentive keeps most nurses going, i.e., their chance at a leadership position in the hierarchy. Most leadership roles require you to obtain several qualifications and certifications. It would help if you also had key abilities primarily taught in graduate degrees. 

Some healthcare organizations also assist you in obtaining an advanced degree by providing some percentage of funding. Some even offer long-term loans that they deduct from the salaries. The point is to encourage nurses to obtain the expertise and skills needed in their choice of field. 

For instance, if you’re interested in managing a hospital rather than providing care, you may obtain a master’s degree in healthcare administration to pursue a job in that line of work. Similarly, you can obtain a doctorate in nursing practice to aim for the highest leadership positions in healthcare. 

  • Helps You Meet The Demands Of The Market 

Most employers have listed advanced degrees as a requirement to be eligible for the vacancies they’re offering. It is now more common because of the cost-effectiveness of advanced degrees. For example, a nurse working in the gynecology department will be required to have a master’s degree in gynecology, obstetrics, neonatal health, or nursing midwifery. 

Similarly, a nurse working in a mental health clinic will be required to have a master’s in mental health nursing or psychology. Nurses working in the field might even be necessary to have a data science degree as they’re supposed to work with a lot of research data and statistics. Nurses who do not meet the requirements either lose their employment or experience career stagnation. 

  • Newer Employment Opportunities 

Advanced degrees make you eligible for growth as your knowledge and experience increase with them. The leadership element in advanced degrees allows you to pursue your clinical nursing practice. Of course, you have to meet a set of legal criteria first. Moreover, they also make you eligible to diagnose, prescribe, and draft treatment plans for patients independently. 

You might also look for work in the education sector in addition to starting your practice. Most nurses work as lecturers part-time because it’s a nice and convenient way of making extra money. Also, it looks great on your resume and enhances your nursing experience greatly. 

  • Obtain Personal Satisfaction 

When you choose not to pursue an advanced degree, you’ll always feel like there’s a void left unfilled. You may work for several years at below-average pay only to learn how much more you could have made if you had just pursued that postgraduate degree. Most importantly, advanced degrees allow you to pursue your passions. 

There are countless fields of work in nursing for people with different preferences. Some don’t even involve caregiving if that’s what you want. An advanced degree is a step further into achieving your dream. Doing what you love will grant you the kind of personal fulfillment you need to avoid career stagnation. 

  • Enjoy The Perks Of Seniority 

An advanced degree is a prerequisite for growth. By earning a leadership position, you get to enjoy a slightly more flexible schedule than under-qualified nurses. For example, you may get the weekends and public holidays off. 

Plus, if you’re in a dominant leadership position, who knows, you may even get the executive parking spot. You’ll also be authorized to give orders instead of doing all the labor of nursing yourself. Seniority also makes you eligible to enjoy desk time instead of constantly running around collecting lab results and looking after patients. 

The Bottom Line 

If you’re indecisive about whether or not to go for an advanced degree, we suggest you dive right in. It’ll open countless doors of growth and opportunities that will help your professional life. You’ll also be subject to several monetary and non-monetary benefits. They may include better pay, flexible schedules, more authority in the workplace, increased autonomy, chances of promotion, more job opportunities, and personal fulfillment. Besides all of this, if you’re lucky, you’ll get the weekends off, and if you’re luckier, you may get the executive parking space too.