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If you’re looking for a way to advance your nursing career, try studying part-time online. After all, nursing can be a rewarding career in many ways, but you don’t necessarily want to stay a registered nurse (RN) forever. You may want to advance your clinical skills, dig deeper into nursing research, train aspiring nurses for a new career or transition into an administrative role. A part-time online degree program can help you accomplish any of these goals.
Master’s Degrees in Nursing
If you want to continue working directly with patients but take on more complicated work and independent opportunities, then you should study nursing at the graduate level. Advanced practice nurses (APNs or APRNs) are the nursing professionals who develop advanced skills. Some APNs pursue a specialty, like anesthesia care or women’s healthcare. When you choose to advance your nursing career by studying part-time online, you can become a:
- nurse practitioner
- certified nurse anesthetist
- certified nurse midwife
- certified clinical nurse specialists.
Different programs award somewhat different graduate nursing degrees. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that advanced practice nurses may graduate with a:
- Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)
- Master of Nursing (M.N.)
- Master of Science (M.S.) nursing major
- Master of Arts (M.A.), nursing major
Master’s degree programs in nursing typically include advanced nursing theories as well as their practical applications. Clinical experience is often a big part of a master’s in nursing program. Advanced practice nurses also take coursework in their intended specialization during graduate school.
Nursing Education Degree Programs
Another way you can advance your nursing career by studying part-time online is by pursuing a degree in nursing education. Nurse educators work in clinical settings like hospitals and academic environments like universities and junior colleges, instructing nursing students. An online nursing education degree program will cover some advanced coursework in clinical practice and nursing research, but it will focus primarily on helping RNs develop their teaching skills.
Nursing Administration Degrees
As a nurse, you already make a big difference in the lives of the patients you care for on an individual basis. In an administration role, though, you could reach even more people by managing:
- healthcare delivery
RNs who study part-time online in nursing administration programs tend to focus more on nursing management, regulations and policies rather than on learning advanced clinical skills for providing patient care.
Master’s in nursing, nursing education and nursing administration degree programs may have some overlapping coursework, but these programs achieve very distinct objectives. They help you grow your career in different ways and move into different nursing roles. Where each educational path takes you can change everything from your title to your job duties. No matter where in the field of nursing you see yourself, there are plenty of ways to advance your nursing career by studying part-time online.
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