As a working nurse, you already know the demanding nature of your job; it can test your nerves and drain your energy. Still, you want to become a nurse because it’s also a rewarding profession with the potential for personal and professional development. You take on a meaningful job that contributes to society and makes a difference. Once you step onto the nursing career path, there is a promising future.
What’s next? A common answer is to pursue higher studies to advance your career. Do you need encouragement to continue your education? Are you struggling to decide on higher studies as a serving nurse? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
Here are six reasons that you should consider pursuing higher studies in nursing.
A diverse range of career opportunities
As a registered nurse, you have undergone rigorous training and clinical shifts. Similarly, higher education in nursing brings increased opportunities for growth and learning. After earning a relevant degree, you can navigate the industry and pursue areas of interest.
For instance, you can earn an MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner specialization to serve in more advanced roles. To save time in exploring options, we recommend visiting La Salle University’s official site: https://online.lasalle.edu/degrees/nursing/ and finding out what nursing degree program is right for you.
Higher education allows you to choose a path and excel in a particular field without compromising your career. You can switch to non-traditional roles in non-clinical settings like policy-making, consultancy, and research. Moreover, you can directly contribute to shaping and training future nurses by becoming a teacher and mentoring nursing students.
Higher education promotes independence and autonomy. When you gain advanced knowledge and practical experience, you can independently work as a family nurse practitioner or other specialized nursing professional.
On the flip side, registered nurses have to work under the supervision of other healthcare providers, including doctors, surgeons, and physicians. Many states allow FNPs to open private clinics. They can diagnose, prescribe medication, conduct tests, and suggest basic treatments without a doctor’s consultation.
If you’re interested in independent practice, nursing education at an advanced level is your answer. After earning a higher degree in nursing, you can contribute to the healthcare industry with little difficulty.
Nursing’s high demand every year and staff shortage contribute to higher pay than other professions. Choosing advanced nursing education ensures a lucrative career path. Even a registered nurse earns a base salary of $93,090 annually in the United States.
With more years of experience and higher education, you can move into more strong roles and leadership positions in the medical field, which offer significant financial growth. For instance, the average salary of a family nurse practitioner in the United States is $145,206 per year. More specialized roles like nurse anesthetist and nurse midwife receive the highest compensation because of the challenging nature of their jobs. The national annual salary of a nurse anesthetist currently stands at $195,610 per year in the United States, which is approximately double the FNP salary.
Flexible working hours
The schedule of registered nurses is hectic as it varies daily and is not fixed. Each shift lasts almost 9-12 hours at any time of the day, including morning, evening, and night. They don’t have the freedom to work according to their convenience.
Contrarily, nurse practitioners can select shift timings, and working hours, as per their comfort level. Their line of work and setting determine their work dynamics, such as shift timings and duration. For instance, nurse practitioners in hospitals and clinics have 8-hour shifts and don’t work outside their shift timings.
Also, they are off duty on weekends, which makes it a convenient time to pursue higher education. NPs also deal with individual clients and handle administrative work.
As a result, they can balance their work and personal lives. They enjoy a healthy routine and perform day-to-day tasks without facing any pressure on their physical and mental health, like registered nurses who stay on their feet around the clock.
Higher education in the nursing field prepares you to connect with people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Whether a travel nurse or a culture nurse, you can foster healthy relationships with patients from different backgrounds. It leads to exposure to diverse places and experiences where you can witness life from different perspectives and at a deeper level.
Depending on your nursing specialization, you can listen to their stories when you deal with patients. As a result, you develop a holistic approach and strong inner instincts. In both a professional and personal capacity, your quality care helps patients recover and resume normal lives. You can see the outcome of your diligent work and quality care. It increases empathy and compassion for humanity in general. Moreover, it motivates you to perform your duties the next day enthusiastically.
Job security is one of the additional advantages when it comes to choosing advanced nursing education. Every day, the demand for experienced and skilled nurses increases. The leading factors are the rising baby boomer population and the large number of nurses reaching retirement age. There will be a high demand for primary healthcare services, and nurses will always be needed to take up the role of healthcare providers.
A higher nursing degree can increase your employment chances even in times of recession and automation when many job roles have become obsolete. The right time to join top-rated career roles has never been better in the healthcare industry. The job outlook for nursing professionals like nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives is bright, with a growth rate of 40%. This is higher than the average of all other professions.
You can reap potential benefits and gain a competitive edge over competitors by pursuing higher education in nursing. However, you need to find a specialization that aligns with your goals and helps you progress in the field with contentment and financial stability. Nursing offers a wide range of opportunities. Once you know what is best for you, you can excel in the healthcare industry while continuing to advance your education.