Advanced nursing professionals are a big part of health care in Massachusetts. This state is densely populated, leaving many people in need of quality, timely care. Nurses that go through a graduate program may take on roles in leadership, advanced primary care, anesthesia, midwifery, or education. Luckily, you do not always need to complete a BSN program before you earn an MSN. There are direct entry MSN programs in Massachusetts that are intended for students who have Bachelor's degrees in other fields, and want to enter the nursing profession at the Master’s degree level.
To learn more about your options for enrolling in one of the direct entry MSN programs in Massachusetts, contact the schools you find on our site and request program information.
In the first half of your MSN curriculum, you prepare for advanced nursing coursework by completing BSN classes. To be ready for this part of your education, you must have prior coursework in anatomy, physiology, biology, and human development. These courses prepare you for nursing classes like Nursing Processes and Skills, Pathophysiology, Nursing Theories, and Health Assessment. You will be required to earn your registered nursing license by taking the NCLEX-RN before you start your graduate courses.
The graduate courses you take vary based on your choice of specialty. For example, aspiring nurse practitioners may take classes like Family Health, Advanced Nursing Care of Adults, and Advanced Nursing Care of Children and Families. In a nurse education program, required courses include Curriculum Development, Dimensions of Nursing Education, Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing, and Assessment of Nursing Education. Nurse leadership programs include classes like Dimensions of Nursing Administration, Health Care Policy, and Finance in Health Care.
Program lengths differ between schools, but generally speaking, these degrees are meant to be completed in a short time frame. If you take courses during summer and winter breaks, you may graduate in as little as 18 months. Other programs take up to three years. Because of the accelerated nature of this program, you may not be allowed to work while earning your degree.
Massachusetts is home to a large number of nursing associations, organizations, and employers that have scholarships and grants available for nursing students. In addition to earning money for your education, you may be able to start building connections in these organizations. The Massachusetts Nurses Association awards scholarships to a number of student nurses every year. Students who join the American Nurses Association of Massachusetts can apply for the Ruth Lang Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship and the Arthur L. Davis Publishing Agency Scholarship. If you're interested in going into senior care, consider applying for the Massachusetts Senior Care Association.
An important step in your career is meeting the licensing requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. An RN license is all that's required for nursing educators, leaders, and researchers. However, there are individual testing procedures for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse specialists.
In many professions, Massachusetts job growth rates are far higher than the national average. The field that's expected to see the least growth is nurse anesthesia; in this field, O*Net predicts a 17% increase in job openings through 2022. The demand for nursing instructors is expected to increase by 34 percent in this same time frame, with other jobs having growth rates in between the two extremes (O*Net, 2012).
Salaries in Massachusetts tend to be significantly higher than the national salary range, due in part to the high cost of living in New England. Nurse instructors are on the low end of the salary range, claiming a median salary of $75,300 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse anesthetists are the highest-earning nurses, bringing in a median salary of $151,600 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Massachusetts nursing programs have lots of opportunities for career growth and fulfillment. Wherever your previous experience has taken you and whichever nursing field you're interested in, a direct entry MSN program can help you reach your goals. Take some time to request materials from prospective schools to learn more.