Why get an advanced nursing degree?

An RN can work in his profession with an associate degree (ADN) or bachelor’s degree (BSN) in nursing. He may earn an advanced degree known as a master’s of science degree in nursing (MSN) and even go on to pursue a doctoral degree in his specialty.


Nurses can opt for a doctor of nursing (ND), doctor of nursing practice (DNP), doctor of nursing science (DNSc), or doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree.



ADN and BSN nurses deliver basic nursing care, while MSN-prepared nurses enjoy expanded roles as clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, or nurse anesthetists. ND programs focus on advanced clinical roles, DNP programs prepare nursing leaders, DNSc schools graduate nurse scientists, and PhD programs prepare students for academic teaching and research.


According to the University of Rochester School of Nursing, many nurses think of their basic degree and RN license as stepping stones to advanced degrees that will broaden their scope of practice.


Nurses with advanced degrees enjoy higher employability, new challenges, and more freedom than those with basic degrees.


According to Payscale.com, the median annual salary for an RN with a BSN in was $55,515 on December 25, 2009, compared to $76,761 for an advanced RN practitioner with an MSN. Doctorally-prepared nurses earn between $50,000 and $90,000 a year.


All Nursing Schools: Program Types

University of Rochester School of Nursing: Advanced Degrees

PayScale.com: BSN Salary

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