There are many nursing career routes you can choose that will help Idaho's hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes run smoothly. Many of these high level nursing careers require Master's degrees in nursing. If you have a Bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field, you can still look into getting an MSN and taking on the duties of an advanced practice nurse.
There are several nursing schools in Idaho and beyond that offer Direct Entry MSN programs, allowing you to apply previous credits from your Bachelor’s program to an advanced nursing degree. Take some time to request additional materials from schools to learn more.
You'll likely find that direct entry MSN programs in Idaho are divided into two parts. The first part of a direct entry MSN program brings you up to the level of a BSN. Though this is typically a four-year program, you learn everything in about one year or less. This part of your training includes courses like Nursing Pharmacology, Nursing Pathophysiology, Nursing Fundamentals, Medical/Surgical Nursing, Nursing Care of Families and Children, and Nursing Terminology. Once you've completed this part of the program and completed several hundred clinical hours, you can take the NCLEX-RN, which is required to become licensed as a registered nurse (RN).
As an MSN student, you must decide what type of nursing job you want. Clinical specialties include nurse anesthesia, nurse midwifery, nurse practitioner, and clinical specialist. Other specialties include nursing administration, nurse research, nurse education, and nurse leadership. Each of these programs has their own clinical requirements, so you may have to complete up to 800 clinical hours in certain specialties.
The curriculum differs for each specialty, so you must look at your program of choice to find out what courses are required of you. Those who go into nursing education may take classes like Evaluation Issues and Strategies, Curriculum Development in Nursing Education, and Teaching & Learning Strategies. Nurse leadership programs may includes courses like Advanced Nursing Roles, Organizational Behavior in Health Care, and Administrative Approaches to Nursing Leadership. Clinical courses may have more medical courses like Primary Care of Adults, Advanced Nursing Skills, and Applications of Evidence-Based Practice.
Financial aid is a significant part of the education process for most students, particularly those who don't want to take on student debt to earn a second degree. One major benefit of living in Idaho is the selection of grants, scholarships, and loan repayment programs. The Idaho State Board of Education has a State Loan Forgiveness Program that is designed for nurse instructors and professional nurses that stay in Idaho to work. Another major source of graduate school funding is the Idaho Nurses Foundation, which awards the Florence Whipple Scholarship. The Idaho Community Foundation awards the Idaho Nursing and Health Professionals Scholarship and the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Employee and Friends Health Services Scholarship.
Whichever nursing specialty you decide to pursue, you'll need a license from the State of Idaho Board of Nursing. They administer registered nursing licenses, which you'll need to work as a nurse educator, nurse researcher, or nurse administrator. However, you will need to go through the testing and application process for an advanced practice license if you want to work as a nurse practitioner, midwife, anesthetists, or specialist.
In Idaho, nursing salaries vary widely based on experience, education level, and other factors. Looking at average salaries for different professions can help you determine how much you may earn. Per O*Net, nurse instructors bring in an average salary of $51,300 per year. Their estimates indicate that nurse anesthetists earn an average of $145,400 per year (O*Net, 2013). Other average salaries for nursing careers fall between these two extremes.
In general, job growth in Idaho is quite positive. A 20 percent increase in job openings for nurse anesthetists is expected between 2012 and 2022 (O*Net, 2012). Jobs may increase at the fastest rate for nurse instructors; O*Net predicts a 38 percent increase in jobs.
If you're looking for a career that puts you at the center of a fast-growing industry and gives you the chance to improve people's lives, this may be the degree choice for you. With an MSN, you can explore your abilities and serve as a leader in the nursing community. Contact the schools on this site to get detailed program information.