If you are interested in earning a nursing degree, Washington D.C. may be the ideal place to continue your education. As the main political hub of the United States, Washington D.C. may give you the opportunity to work in well-respected nursing facilities and learn about health care legislature that affects nurses across the country. A Direct Entry MSN may be the degree you are considering if you have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. If you attend classes full-time, you could graduate with an MSN in as little as 18 months.
The first part of your degree program is fast-paced and demanding, which is why several Washington D.C. schools require you to abstain from work during this time. In the course of one year, you must gain the same clinical experience and knowledge as a BSN graduate. This often requires you to spend over 40 hours per week in class and clinical settings. You may take classes like Health Assessment, Introduction to Nursing Practice Skills, and Complex Health Care.
After earning your RN license, you can start your MSN classes. The classes you take are based on which concentration you choose. There are several clinical specialties, including nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and nurse midwife. Non-clinical specialties include nursing research and nursing education. In a nurse practitioner program, you may take classes like Health Care of the Childbearing Family, Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, and Pharmacology in Advanced Nursing Practice. Education courses include Nursing Curriculum Development, Dimensions of Nursing Education, and Assessment in Nursing Education.
As you may expect, direct entry Master’s in Nursing programs have intense prerequisite requirements. Most Washington D.C. programs require prior coursework in subjects like anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, and statistics. In addition, many schools require that these classes not be more than seven years old. If you completed your Bachelor's degree outside of this window, you may need to retake some courses.
Living in the capital of the country gives you access to a wide variety of federal and regional scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs. You may also be located near national advocacy groups that offer funding to MSN students. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards scholarships to nurses that go into education, leadership, or research. Consider also the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, which hosts the AACN Student Policy Summit, awards scholarships in executive nursing leadership, and funds other grants. On a federal level, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hosts the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program. This program funds scholarships in exchange for an agreement to work at an in-demand facility.
Although Washington D.C. is not a state, it still has a regional licensing board for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses. The District of Columbia Department of Health protects the health of citizens by strictly regulating the field of nursing. You must keep your RN license active at all times. In addition, if you work in a clinical specialty, you have to meet the advanced licensing requirements of that specialty.
One of the major advantages of working in Washington D.C. is the higher-than-average salary ranges reported by advanced practice nurses. In this region, nursing instructors earn an average salary of $79,200 per year (O*Net, 2013). Nurses that go into primary care as nurse practitioners can earn an average of $84,700 per year (O*Net, 2013). Estimates provided by O*Net show that medical managers earn a median salary of $113,000 annually. The average annual income for a nurse anesthetist is $177,700 per year, over $20,000 higher than the national average (O*Net, 2013).
Becoming a Master’s prepared nurse in D.C. can have a huge impact on the nursing industry—not just locally, but across the entire country. Your practice, research, and discoveries may contribute to nursing legislation that makes the field more productive and evidence-based. Of course, you can also feel good about the work you do and know that it is helping people live healthier lives. Reach out to the direct entry master’s programs in D.C. that you see on our site to get more detailed program information.