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Top Master's Degree in Nursing Programs Online - MSN Degrees

Nursing master degrees prepare you for some of the top jobs in the nursing profession. The most common degree is the MSN degree, which is required to become an advanced practice nurse (such as a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthetist). Earning a Master’s Degree in Nursing typically take two or three years of postgraduate work.

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Earn Your Master's Degree in Nursing Online

Due to high demand, the number of nursing programs is numerous. Those wishing to attain a Master's Degree in Nursing (MSN) have the choice of attending classes both online and on-campus. However, while you can study online for a Master’s Degree in Nursing, keep in mind the nature of the profession demands a certain amount of face-to-face education and you will still have to complete the required hours of practical training in a healthcare facility.

Whether you earn your nursing degree online or on-campus, it can be a wise investment in your career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates employment of nurses will grow 26% through 2020.

How to Become a MSN

Earning a MSN degree opens the door to the best jobs within the nursing profession. With a MSN, a nurse qualifies to practice as an advanced practice nurse, including a clinical nurse leader (CNL), nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and nurse practitioner (NP).

A Master's of Science in Nursing is also the entry-level degree for nurses who want to become educators or attain jobs in management, and can also provide training in specialty areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, acute care and gynecology.

Employment and Salary Outlook for Nurses

The BLS expects more than 700,000 new nurses by 2020, joining the more than 2 million people already earning a living as a nurse. Part of the reason are aging Baby Boomers who are expected to live longer than previous generations and therefore require more medical services.

Pay for nurses depends on where they work. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for a nurse working in a private hospital was $66,650 in 2010, while those working in a physician’s clinic earned $62,880.

Nurses who have earned their master's degree will earn significantly more money. Advanced practice nurses are in high demand and can earn anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000 a year, depending on specialty.