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What can I do with a degree in nursing?

There has never been a better time to pursue a degree in nursing, whether you are just starting your education and want to obtain your Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) or if you are already a nurse with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) wanting to obtain your BSN, or if you would like to obtain a higher degree such as masters or doctorate. With job security and many different opportunities, there will be an area that will fit where you want to be in your career.

When you first graduate and become a registered nurse you might choose to go into the hospital setting to get clinical experience. You may choose to work in specialties such as medical/surgical, oncology, psychiatric/mental health, pediatrics, critical care, emergency room, labor and delivery, or nursery. Others may want to work in the surgical area and may work in the preoperative, intraoperative or postoperative units. Some choose home health, outpatient surgical centers, or clinics.

As you gain more experience you might choose to become certified in a specific area such as critical care nursing or inpatient obstetric nursing, or you might decide to become a flight nurse, work in a correctional facility, become a diabetes nurse educator, or work in case management. Some graduates choose a leadership route and become nurse managers or directors. The opportunities are endless!

Whatever your goal or passion, there is a place for you in the nursing profession.

Master of Science in Nursing

You may decide that you want to pursue your Master of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN), and there are many different concentrations you can pick from at the master’s level including becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) specializing as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist.

Or you may choose to obtain an MSN focusing on becoming a nurse educator so that you can teach in a nursing program, or nurse executive, clinical nurse leader, public health nurse or several other specialties that can provide with many other job opportunities.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

There are many options if you choose to obtain a doctorate in nursing. Doctorates in nursing include those focusing on clinical practice such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to those focusing on research such as the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS). Known as a terminal degree, a doctorate in nursing provides you with even more job opportunities.

Nurses with a DNP become leaders in the clinical, administrative and health policy settings to advance healthcare and improve outcomes. Nurses with a research doctorate investigate many areas of health and disease to discover new knowledge that influences guidelines and impacts healthcare practices.

With a doctorate you can also choose to pursue a career in academia becoming a nursing faculty member as professor, or pursue academic leadership and become the dean of a school of nursing.