Nurse or Teacher: You Don’t Have to Choose Between the Two

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Do you want to change careers but can’t decide between becoming a nurse or teacher? Or, are you just determined to find a career with more options? Stop spinning your wheels – earning a master’s of science in nursing degree can help you achieve all the above so you don’t have to choose one single path. 

A master’s of science in nursing degree allows you to leverage your non-nursing degree to change careers faster. In as few as 18 months, you’ll be ready to not only practice nursing, but take your first steps toward a career as a teacher in nursing education. That’s right, we said teacher. With a master’s of science in nursing (MSN), you can have your cake and eat it too. Don’t believe us? Read on to discover how earning your MSN helps you marry nursing and teaching into one profession.

1. You choose your specialty.

Specializing in something gives you credibility, but becoming a trusted expert doesn’t happen overnight. MSN-prepared nurses can provide one form of care such as critical care, health education, or midwifery.

Specializing in a specific area of nursing can boost your professional growth and earning potential. But, in order to specialize in a field of nursing, you must obtain an MSN degree. With it you will gain the skills and training needed to give more advanced care in the specialty role you choose.

According to the American Nurses Association, although there are many specialty areas, MSN nurses often pursue one of the following main specialties:

  • Clinical Care Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Practitioner

Plus, once you’ve gained a certain amount of nursing experience in your specialty, you could teach aspiring nurses or assist with services that doctors are qualified to perform. Having more skilled nurses will help shape the future of healthcare.

Marquette University advanced nursing students in an intensive care unit.

2. You shape the future as a nurse.

Nurses are drastically influencing the healthcare landscape through patient safety and quality care. Whether they are educating in a classroom or doctor’s office, it requires a person to be patient, positive and kind.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimates that the job outlook for advanced practice registered nurses, including nurse educators, is projected to grow 31 percent from 2014 to 2024.

Nurse educators are critical to the growth of nursing because they are given the chance to simultaneously express their passion for teaching and nursing. Earning your MSN means you can hold this position, and serve as a role model or mentor for up-and-coming nurses.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing states the median age of nurses today is 46, and more than 50 percent of the nursing workforce is close to retirement. As nurses retire, nurse educators will play a major role in preparing the next generation of nurses for the field.

3. You open yourself up for leadership roles and benefits.

As an MSN-prepared nurse, you decide how patients are treated and how their medical care is delivered. From reviewing your patient’s chart to preparing them for surgery, it’s your duty to provide exceptional care while utilizing best practices. You will have the autonomy to shape your patients’ environment, as well as the work environment (such as helping with healthcare policies and utilizing best practices).

And, the benefits of having your MSN can extend beyond patient care, and into your wallet. The rising nursing shortage can provide exciting opportunities for current registered nurses with an MSN degree. Some employers are now offering incentive programs (i.e. advanced benefits, higher pay, signing bonuses, etc.) to attract graduate-level nurses to their healthcare facilities.

Employers know that people who have the diligence and drive to pursue graduate-level nursing also have leadership qualities and potential. When an employer hires an MSN-prepared nurse, it also gains an educational resource and expert to help groom other nursing staff. It’s a win-win for both you and your employer.

4. Personal Satisfaction + Career Advancement = A Happy Medium

For many, nursing is more than a profession – it’s a calling. And, it’s rewarding in a handful of ways. Nurses are saving lives and comforting patients and families on a daily basis.

In a way, having an MSN degree gives you bragging rights. Through our Direct Entry Masters of Science in Nursing program, earning an MSN degree in 18 months is something to gloat about in itself.

Completing your MSN opens you up for career advancement. In a hospital setting, you could become a director of nursing, requiring you to oversee department budgets, supervise and review nursing staff, and manage patient records. If you love teaching but want to increase your earning potential, that’s another reason to consider earning an MSN to become a nurse educator. It’s the best of both worlds.

5. Perks!

When it comes to perks, nurses who hold an MSN degree have their share. They enjoy flexible schedules that other professions won’t accommodate.

As described earlier, an MSN degree makes you eligible for managerial positions, which often come with more reasonable 40-hour weeks. If you want a career that accommodates more time for family, or extracurricular activities, having your MSN increases your chances of finding that.

And generous benefit packages are generally a given for MSN nurses. These benefits can include:

  • Health and life insurance
  • Paid sick leave
  • Vacation time
  • Personal leave
  • Discounted gym and daycare facility opportunities, and more!

Additionally, if achieving MSN status isn’t satisfying enough, it is a great stepping stone for earning your doctorate degree in nursing. The learning really never stops in the worlds of education and healthcare!

The Decision is Yours

Now is the time to pursue your true calling. If you are drawn to being a nurse or teacher and truly don’t want to choose between the two, an MSN degree is perfect for you. Contact one of our admissions advisers today to see how you can get started!