Meet the Demand for Advanced Practice Nursing with an MSN
posted April 22nd, 2014 by Tricia Hussung
Demand for advanced practice nurses is higher than ever in the U.S. As the baby boomer generation ages, so is the rate of chronic illness in the population and the complexity of care required in response. Advanced practice nurses have the skills and experience to address the challenges of a rapidly changing health care industry, especially in terms of primary care. The combination of changing demographics, fewer primary care physicians and federal developments such as the Affordable Care Act makes now a great time to earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.
King University offers nursing professionals a direct track to career advancement through continued education. Our online nursing degree is focused on an advanced level of nursing education and practice, ensuring that our students are ready to meet the nationwide demand for advanced practice nurses after graduation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports growing pressure within the health care industry for management-level nursing positions, which require a graduate-level degree in either nursing or health services. Nurses who complete an advanced degree are positioned for career placement, higher salaries and greater responsibilities.
The Many Roles of Advanced Practice Nurses
Advanced practice nurses deliver cost-effective care and increased access to qualified practitioners for many patients and families. They often provide health care to underserved populations, diagnose and treat patients with chronic illnesses, and prescribe medication. Many of these nursing professionals also work as educators at the collegiate level. In general, advanced practice nurses have the following job duties:
- Perform comprehensive physical examinations and obtain health histories.
- Develop differential diagnoses.
- Order lab tests and interpret results of diagnostic studies.
- Develop care plans.
- Provide counseling and education to patients and families.
- Participate in research studies.
- Maintain patient records.
Though advanced practice nurses can work in a variety of positions and environments, perhaps the most important role they play in today’s health care industry is that of primary care physician. In fact, many nurse practitioners who work with non-primary care physicians provide primary care services for the patients within the practices. As fewer and fewer physicians are choosing to pursue careers in primary care, advanced practice nurses are filling the demand for practitioners of primary care. Whether your day-to-day work is in pediatrics, family, adult gerontological or women’s health, there are more advanced practice nurses in primary care roles than ever before.
Advanced Practice Careers
You will be able to pursue the career options below after you complete your advanced nursing degree. These jobs represent the various professional paths advanced practice nurses have to choose from.
- Nurse practitioners provide primary and specialized health care in a variety of settings to individuals, families, groups and communities. They can work in nurse-managed clinics, physicians’ offices, nursing homes, hospitals and schools. Most nurse practitioners have a specialty. They conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, give immunizations, manage chronic conditions, order and interpret tests, counsel patience and refer them to other health care providers as needed. Nurse practitioners have prescription authority in all 50 states and earn around $90,000 annually.
- Certified nurse midwives deliver babies in hospitals, homes and birthing centers, as well as manage women’s health throughout the lifespan. They provide the following to women: primary care, family planning advice, gynecological exams, management of low-risk labor and delivery as well as neonatal care. They also provide care for certain reproductive issues for male partners of female clients. Average salary for these advanced practice nurses is around $90,000 annually.
- Clinical nurse specialists work in inpatient hospital settings, clinics or private practices. They provide direct primary care and psychotherapy; mentor other nurses; and work as case managers, consultants, researchers, educators and administrators. Clinical nurse specialists have specialized advanced degrees in areas like mental health, pediatrics, cancer care or community health. Annual salary for these nursing professionals is around $90,000.
- Certified registered nurse anesthetists work in the oldest area of advanced nursing specialties. They work most often with anesthesiologists, and also independently administer anesthesia and related care to patients. Certified nurse anesthetists work in all types of surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic and obstetrical procedures. In addition, they provide chronic pain management and emergency care. Annual salary is around $150,000.
Earning Your MSN Degree with King
At King, we understand that the need for practitioners will increase dramatically in coming years—and advanced practice nurses are the provider group that can fill this need. With your MSN degree, you are in perfect position to take your place in the health care industry and work in the nursing area that is experiencing the highest demand for qualified professionals. Our online MSN program is offered with three concentrations: MSN nurse educator, MSN administrator and MSN/MBA. These concentrations enable you to cater your education to your nursing career goals.