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Jan 15, 2017 06:12 AM EST

Advanced Nursing Degrees You Could Choose From

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A lot of nurses want to pursue an advanced degree in nursing because it opens up more opportunities as well as a higher salary. But which of these degrees should you choose and what benefits do they give you?

Master's Degree in Nursing

A master's degree in nursing (MSN) takes two years to complete. Furthermore, there are four fields which nursing professionals can pursue when they decided to take this path - nurse practitioner (NP), a certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA), a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), a certified nurse midwife (CNM).

Aside from this, there are also joint programs which can be paired with a master's degree in nursing. Two of these popular pairings include a master's in public health or a master's in health administration.

Aside from giving you more knowledge about a specialized knowledge in a particular area, a master's degree in nursing also teaches you the business side of the profession, such as finance and policies.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

A Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program will take around three to five years to complete. Those who want to pursue this can choose which specialized field to pursue. There are the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) which focuses on clinical practice-oriented leadership training; Doctor of Nursing (ND) which focuses more on developing specialized skills; Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) which focuses on the research skills; and Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (PhD) which focuses on research and scientific studies.

A doctorate degree in nursing is ideal for those who want to pursue a faculty position or a research post. However, it also requires a lot of work to pursue a doctorate degree. Students need to accomplish their coursework on nursing philosophy, theoretical development, and other requirements.

According to a 2017 report on Payscale, the median annual salary of those who have a doctorate degree in nursing is $108,387.

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