Are you considering a career in health care that can help you serve your community and provide evidence-based care? A Master's degree in nursing may be the degree you're looking for. It has many different specialties, so you can choose a degree path that can help you reach your goals.
Many Master's-level nursing careers come with an increased earning potential. The average salary for an Oklahoma nurse practitioner, according to O*Net, is $81,200 per year (O*Net, 2012). Nurse educators in this state earn an average salary of $52,500 per year (O*Net, 2012). The average salary for a medical and health services manager in Oklahoma is $74,400 per year (O*Net, 2012).
One of the advantages of starting a career in an advanced nursing field is the amount of support available in Oklahoma. For example, the Oklahoma Action Coalition is constantly working to improve the state of nursing education and practice in Oklahoma. This is important, since nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses have a limited scope of practice in this state. The Oklahoma Action Coalition and other group hope to change this in the coming years.
Nursing education is a field that has lots of exciting opportunities for Master's-level nurses. With so many different degree options for aspiring nurses, nurse educators must be flexible and able to serve different types of students. A degree in nurse education may prepare you to teach clinical skills, bedside manner, and nursing safety.
Nurse practitioners in Oklahoma fill a very important need. The Oklahoma Policy Institute notes that Oklahoma has a severe primary care physician shortage. In fact, Oklahoma ranks 49th in terms of access to primary care providers. News 9 reports that most Oklahoma shortages are in rural areas.
MSN programs in Oklahoma tend to have fairly rigorous admissions requirements. After all, an MSN can qualify you for various high-level nursing positions, so it's important to demonstrate your abilities. You should have a strong academic resume as well as some nursing experience. Many schools now require at least one year of nursing experience.
Your course schedule will depend on what school you attend. While a select few schools have full-time MSN programs, most programs are designed to be completed on a part-time basis.
Courses required in most master's degree programs include Background for Nursing Practice, Systems Leadership in Nursing, Quality Improvement in Nursing, and Evidence-Based Practice. A nurse educator track may include courses like Testing and Evaluation in Nursing, while a nursing leadership program may require you to take classes like Leadership in Health Care Systems. Nurse practitioner programs tend to cover various populations with classes like Primary Health Care for Women and Primary Health Care for Children.
You can begin your scholarship search as soon as you get accepted to a Master's of Nursing program. Hillcrest Medical Center offers nursing scholarships to current employees. The Nursing Student Assistance Program of PMTC offers scholarships and loans.