Ask any patient leaving a hospital or clinic who made a difference in their stay and the majority of patients will likely say that their nurse had the biggest effect. If you've been working as a nurse for some time, you know the impact you can have on not just one patient, but on healthcare as a whole. If so, you may be interested in exploring how you can further your career options to increase your impact even more. Luckily, a Master’s degree in nursing gives you the foundation needed for many other careers in nursing, like research, education, and leadership.
As you begin to explore your educational options in Missouri, you may want to start networking with local professional groups. The Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists is a popular group for aspiring nurse anesthetists. It may help you learn about the scope of practice in this state, discover research and legislation in the field, and connect with professionals in nurse anesthesia. The Advanced Practice Nurses of the Ozarks unites advanced practice nurses from different specialties, including primary care, pediatric care, clinical leadership, and mental health.
If you want to have a greater scope of practice while working with patients, you may wish to consider becoming a nurse practitioner. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that many advocacy groups in Missouri are trying to expand practice rights for nurse practitioners. In doing so, they hope to increase residents' access to appropriate and affordable health care.
The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center notes that health care is a great field to be in right now. In fact, health care is the top employing industry in all of Missouri. Nursing falls on the list of top 10 jobs in the state. This growth reflects a need for instructors, leaders, and practitioners.
MSN programs in Missouri address a number of goals. Your instructors aim to continue developing your critical thinking skills and helping you use those skills for better clinical decision making. Leadership is another major goal for MSN programs; you should get comfortable acting as a leader in familiar and unfamiliar situations as needed. You may be assessed on your ability to read nursing research and figure out how it should be applied to your clinical practice.
Your curriculum is centered around your specific career goals and which learning path you select. If you want to become a clinical nurse leader, which may involve leading staff and creating care plans for patients, you can take courses like Clinical Outcomes Management, Advanced Health Assessment, and Nursing Informatics. In a nurse practitioner track, you may participate in courses like Primary Care of Women, Primary Care of Children, Assessment of Patients in Health and Illness, and Gerontology Primary Care.
Clinical work takes what you learn in the classroom and puts it to the test in a real work setting. Clinical specialties may require over 600 hours of practical work, while specialties like nursing administration or nurse leadership may have considerably fewer clinical requirements.
Once you have been accepted to the MSN program of your choice, you can start applying for financial aid. Applying early and staying on top of your options can help you minimize your student debt. The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services promotes advanced nursing degrees through nursing student loans that can be repaid through service. The Missouri League for Nursing awards scholarships that are worth up to $2,500. Students at many Missouri schools may apply for scholarships through the Missouri Nurses Foundation.
Your new degree may increase your earning potential, depending on which specialty you choose. The average salary for a nursing instructor in Missouri is $63,700 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurse anesthetists in Missouri earn an average salary of $145,600 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Job openings for nurse anesthetists are expected to increase at a rate of 16 percent between 2012 and 2022 (O*Net, 2012). Nurse instructors may see the most significant job growth; O*Net anticipates a 32 percent increase in job openings.
Take some time to request information on MSN programs in Missouri from the schools listed on our site. Once you review all of you options for earning your graduate nursing degree in MO, you should be prepared to move ahead with your professional nursing career goals and aspirations.