What Can You Do With A Masters In Nursing (MSN)?

Here is what you can do with a master’s degree in nursing.

Nurses are critical in promoting health, preventing disease, and delivering primary care. About 27 million people constitute the global nursing workforce.

Meanwhile, over 50% of the global health workforce are nurses.

Also, BLS reports that by 2029, the number of advanced practice nurses will increase by 29%. If you’re looking to take your nursing career to the next level, it’s advised you complete a master’s degree in nursing.

What Can I Do With A Masters In Nursing?

Perhaps you’re wondering what you can do with an MSN degree. You need not worry!

This post explores various nursing specialties.

1. Advanced Practice Nursing Roles

Advanced practice nurses are at the frontline of preventative care in health facilities. They’re often trained nurses with postgraduate degrees.

These nurses work specialty roles as nurse practitioners, midwives, nurse anesthetists, or clinical nurse specialists. They’re primary care providers and work in different health settings such as teaching hospitals, trauma centers, surgery centers, etc.

Typically, nurses with MSN can diagnose patients, interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and manage treatments. They can work alongside a physician or under the supervision of a doctor.

Let’s consider the specialty roles that nurses with MSN can work in:

A nurse practitioner isn’t only a proficient nurse; they’re also certified, having an advanced nurse degree. Compared to registered nurses, their responsibilities are pretty much.

A nurse practitioner can diagnose conditions and assess and treat injuries and illnesses like a doctor. They have expert knowledge of disease prevention and health management.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of nurse practitioners is $117,670 per year. Nurse practitioners are projected to be in high demand between 2020 and 2030.

These nurses can specialize in family care, pediatrics, adult care, etc.

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Family Nurse practitioners provide primary care to patients of all ages, whether young or old. They diagnose and treat ailments among family members.

In addition, they educate families on disease prevention and health management. Since they offer health care to patients of varying ages, they’re often considered general care providers.

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

These nurses specialize in mental health care. They offer mental health services to patients with psychiatric disorders like drug addiction, depression, anxiety, etc.

PMHNPs work with patients to diagnose mental health conditions, create treatment plans and prescribe medications.

In some states, PMHNPs often work in mental health facilities, hospitals, or correctional homes, under the supervision of a physician.

To be a certified PMHNP, you must complete an online nurse practitioner program.

These nurses specialize in women’s health. They provide healthcare to women of all ages. Primary care often encompasses gynecological, prenatal, and postnatal services.

Furthermore, WHNPs offer preventative care, diagnose, and manage illnesses. With an MSN, you can work as a WHNP. Depending on the state, you may be supervised by a physician.

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)

AGNPs specialize in geriatrics care. These nurses care for older adults, emphasize preventative care, manage chronic diseases, and aid healing.

AGNPs work in hospitals, primary care facilities, and long-term care facilities.

  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Nurse-midwives have a vast knowledge of women’s reproductive health and childbirth.

Besides prenatal and postnatal care, nurse midwives educate and counsel new mothers on caring for their newborns. Though CNMs focus on pregnancy care, they offer gynecological and preventive care.

According to BLS, CNMs can work in outpatient health centers, hospitals, etc.

These advanced practice nurses are specialized in oncology, pediatrics,  gerontology, and more. CNSs have expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and managing patients.

They’re often providing patient care, educating nurses, and performing research. CNSs develop healthcare practices and implement them within an organization.

They ensure healthcare facilities adopt evidence-based care. In addition, CNSs are trained to identify gaps in healthcare, offer consultation services, and initiate healthcare delivery.

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

CRNAs have expertise in administering anesthesia and pain management services in emergencies. These practice nurses observe patients’ vitals and closely monitor patients during surgical procedures.

Nurse anesthetists are expected to evaluate the amount and type of anesthesia to use on patients. They also conduct patient evaluations, finding out about their medical history and existing allergies.

These nurses work with medical teams, including anesthesiologists, dentists, and surgeons.

  • Research Nurse

Research nurses assist specialists and researchers with clinical trials involving treatment procedures and medications. These professionals work alongside specialists to develop medicines that manage many medical conditions.

They monitor patients’ progress and document side effects and results. The data gathered are usually compiled into reports for review by physicians or researchers.

Research nurses can work in pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and teaching hospitals.

  • Nurse Consultant

Nurse consultants offer clinical advice to medical businesses. They often possess great expertise in medical specialties like pediatrics, public health, or oncology.

These consultants work in institutions and organizations, offering advice and evaluating healthcare delivery systems. For example, forensic nurse consultants provide medical evidence to law enforcement agencies or criminal defense attorneys.

They also testify as witnesses for prosecutors. Forensic nurse consultants handle domestic abuse cases and violence-related issues.

Typically, they work with coroners, psychiatric institutions, and medical examiner offices.

  • Clinical Genetics Nurses (CGN)

These experts provide patient care to individuals predisposed to genetic diseases or conditions.

Other duties they perform include providing counseling, documenting family histories, carrying out health assessments, etc.

Clinical genetic nurses work in research organizations and medical centers.

2. Specialized Nursing Roles

Besides working in healthcare settings, nurses with MSN degrees can also work in education and technology.

  • Nurse Informaticist

Also known as nurse informatics specialists, nurse informaticists incorporate information science and technology in the medical world.

These nurses identify and analyze data to improve patient outcomes and healthcare technology. Nurse informaticists work in medical centers, insurance companies, and health organizations.

A deep knowledge of nursing practice and a love for technology will make you a sought-after in the industry.

  • Nurse Educator

Nurse educators teach and educate aspiring nurses about the nursing practice.

They work in colleges, universities, teaching hospitals, and nursing schools. Nurse educators have expert nursing knowledge, skills, and several years of clinical experience.

These nurses can only train nursing students; they don’t offer direct patient care. They can also design and implement new nursing education curriculums.

Nurse educators should be at the forefront of research to keep up-to-date with the latest nursing trends and methods.

  • Nurse Ethicist

With a focus on nursing ethics education, nurse ethicists must resolve ethical issues nurses face while administering their duties.

They conduct research, consult, educate, and design policy for healthcare settings.

3. Administrative and Leadership Roles

Besides education and healthcare settings, nurses with MSN degrees can pursue a career path in administration and leadership.

In improving healthcare, nurses in this field integrate leadership skills, efficiency, and team management.

  • Nurse Administrator

Nurse administrators act as department heads and oversee the activities of nursing staff. These professionals work in healthcare facilities, hospitals, and clinics.

They perform administrative work like hiring employees, conducting performance reviews, budgeting, implementing programs, scheduling staff, etc.

Managing records form a significant part of their job descriptions. They keep the medical histories of patients and the employment records of nurses.

  • Chief Nursing Officer

From administrative to advisory and leadership roles, there are several duties performed by a chief nursing officer.

They advise the senior management on the smooth running of the hospital and adherence to existing healthcare standards. A chief nurse is an intermediary between hospital administrators, nurses, and physicians.

Besides nursing roles, a chief nurse can represent or train at medical seminars and symposiums.

Why you should consider a master’s degree in nursing

There are reasons to earn an MSN, from opening doors to career opportunities to higher earnings and obtaining a leadership role. Here are the top benefits of earning a master’s in nursing.

  • Higher salary potential: MSN nurses will likely have increased earnings over time without changing roles. A nurse practitioner can earn close to $104,448 each year. Nevertheless, salary varies according to specialization and location.
  • Personal fulfillment: Besides increased salary and job opportunities, acquiring an MSN degree makes you feel fulfilled and satisfied, considering the hard work and time invested in the program.
  • Room for career advancement: If you feel stuck in your nursing career, consider an MSN. With this degree, you can explore other career options. You can take up leadership roles in companies and work in administrative or managerial fields. In addition, many employers prefer MSN candidates. This gives MSN graduates a competitive edge in the labor market.
  • More excellent knowledge: Pursuing an MSN degree broadens your understanding of healthcare and helps you develop advanced skill sets. These lifelong skills enable you to stay at the forefront of your nursing career. MSN programs avail students to specialize in specific fields.


Earning an MSN degree enables you to advance your career beyond the bedside. Considering what you can do with a master’s of nursing, the above-listed specialty roles are good options.

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