5 Reasons Nurses Should Get A Higher Degree

by Carter Toni

Nursing is a flexible career that helps you manage your family and work simultaneously. You need to have the right education to become a nurse, which often means many years spent on cramming medical concepts. The required level of education needed to become a nurse is a much-debated topic. Many stakeholders in the medical profession regard it as a profession that needs continuous learning and skill development. Several studies have vouched for the link between better education of nurses and positive patient outcomes.

But getting a nursing education after working in a care facility for some years is very daunting. You are already established in your job and have other family responsibilities to manage. But deep down, the thought of getting a higher education and evolving in your career is also present too.

Why Is Higher Education Essential For Nurses?

The continuously changing healthcare needs, higher work responsibilities, medical breakthroughs make nurses need to get higher education. It is also apparent that nurses who work with outdated knowledge struggle working in the technology-driven environment of the hospitals. Various technological devices are being used, robotic procedures are conducted, and patient information is maintained in the healthcare system. Navigating your way in this environment needs advanced education. This is probably the reason why even a BSN degree seems insufficient. The time is not far when degrees like a Masters nurse practitioner will be mandatory for getting jobs in hospitals.

If you have not considered getting higher education in nursing, here are a few reasons that might convince you.

  • More Demand For Skilled Nurses

Currently, healthcare is facing an acute of skilled higher educated nurses. The diseases are becoming more complex. Hence, nurses need advanced patient care techniques to deal with such mutating viruses and unheard-of diseases. The skilled nurses experienced working in healthcare for years are retiring rapidly. According to ACCN’s current data, 60000 nurseshave been retired every year since 2012, so the gap between the supply and the need is widening rapidly.

According to BLS, employment for nurses is expected to grow by 9% by 2030. But then again, this is just one side of the picture because the supply is not growing according to the demand. The need for nurses is approximately five times more than the rate of nurse employment. Meaning that there are more positions open for skilled nurses than there are enough competent employees to fill those positions.

  • Higher Salary

A higher rank and responsibility come with the additional benefit of a higher earning potential. It is found that nurses with a BSN can earn more than diploma holder nurses. Similarly, an MSN nurse has more earning potential than a BSN nurse. So, the more you excel in your education, the greater your chance of getting a higher salary. A nurse with a bachelor’s degree can earn an $88,000 yearly salary. But the same nurse can earn$97,000 annually after getting an MSN degree. Though the change might not come immediately, it can happen fairly quickly. The salary structure also changes as you become experienced in your job.

  • Can Earn A Certificate Or Specialization Of Your Choice

Higher education in nursing opens the doors to various specializations and certifications. These certifications and specializations are a way to expand your career. Some specializations, such as educational and leadership roles, are only available after earning an MSN degree. Some of them include anesthesia nurse practitioners and cardiology nurse practitioners. Moreover, management roles such as nurse managers also require an advanced degree.

  • Land In Leadership Roles

Nurses have stood strong through the pandemic. They have done more than their required job duties. Owing to their greater role in healthcare, there is greater demand for autonomy and control on their job. Moreover, it has also been realized that higher autonomy allows the nurses to make timely decisions. The time saved in taking approval from the doctors or higher management improves patient outcomes and increases patient satisfaction. The need for more independence in decision-making is not just a futile demand but a need of the hour too. Nurses can only work in this continuously evolving and complex healthcare system if they are not constantly worried about getting reprimanded by their bosses for taking every small decision. Getting higher education is the logical way to land in leadership roles, hence achieving more autonomy.

  • Better Patient Outcomes

Patients prefer to be treated by nurses who are skilled in their job. With such nurses, patients are more willing to cooperate and be more satisfied with their care plans. Highly educated nurses are more familiar with the latest research. Therefore, they can better treat the patients, use evidence-based practices, garner better patient outcomes, and reduce hospital mortality rates. 

Higher education is not just needed for better patient care, but it is essential for a nurse wanting to excel in their career. Nurses working in the fast-paced healthcare environment continuously need to upskill themselves to meet the complicated patient care needs. So, if hospitals want better patient care services and improved patient satisfaction, they must facilitate higher education attainment in nurses.

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