The field of nursing in Wyoming is always changing and growing, and there are many nursing professionals you can thank for these advances. Nursing researchers, nurse leaders, nursing educators, and advanced care practitioners can all contribute to how patients receive care and the development of care standards in Wyoming. For many of these positions, you need a Master's degree in nursing. County10 reports that Wyoming has been increasing their accreditation of nursing programs to meet the state's need for advanced nursing professionals. If you have an Associate's degree in nursing, you may be interested in furthering your education with an RN-to-MSN program in Wyoming.
Most MSN programs in Wyoming require you to have a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. However, RN-to-MSN programs are meant for associate's degree graduates that want to complete everything in one fell swoop. Because of the nature of this program, you may spend about three years in school as a full-time student. The first year of your program will likely be spent taking bachelor's-level courses, while the remaining two years of your program may be spent on master's degree courses. Since this is an advanced program, you may need to demonstrate your skills through good grades in your Associate's degree program and nursing experience.
The first part of your curriculum may center around core nursing courses like Application of Theory in Advanced Nursing Practice, Ethics in Advanced Nursing Practice, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Pathophysiology. After completing these courses, you may take classes that are specifically relevant to your chosen specialty. For example, in a nurse educator program, you may take classes like Teaching Methodologies, Learning Theories, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, and Curriculum in Nursing Education.
Clinical work may take up a significant amount of your time as a nursing student, regardless of which specialty you select. However, keep in mind that patient-based specialties tend to have stricter clinical requirements than administrative specialties. Program requirements vary from school to school, typically ranging from 500 to 1,000 hours.
Attending nursing school in Wyoming may give you the chance to apply for many different scholarship programs. On a national basis, the Health Resources and Services Administration has the NURSE Corps Scholarship. This program awards funds to students who agree to work in an underserved facility after graduation. There are also school-specific scholarships, like the Nursing Alumni Scholarship, the Larsen Family Scholarship, and the John V. Leino Memorial Nursing Scholarship. The Wyoming Department of Health has several scholarship and loan repayment options for advanced health care practitioners that are willing to stay in Wyoming after graduation.
Throughout the duration of your RN-to-MSN program, ensure that you maintain a valid registered nursing license through the Wyoming State Board of Nursing. This can make the post-graduation licensure process much easier, particularly if you plan on earning an advanced license to work as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist. The process of getting licensed in these fields requires extensive testing to demonstrate your body of knowledge.
Perhaps due to Wyoming's remote layout, the state's need for highly-trained nursing professionals is high. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net anticipates a 15 percent increase in nurse anesthetist jobs. During this same time period, O*Net predicts a 38 percent increase in nurse education jobs.
In general, you may find that nursing professionals in Wyoming earn salaries that are comparable to the national average. O*Net reports that nursing instructors earn an average salary of $57,900 per year. Nurse anesthetists in Wyoming earn a median income of $185,700 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Putting the time in to earn your MSN can have great personal and professional benefits. Not only can you enjoy knowing that you're contributing to the field of nursing, you may increase your income potential and find the career you've always wanted.