A Masters of Science in Nursing degree is usually an advance-level academic degree for licensed nurses and is generally considered a higher level of postgraduate education for nurse practitioners and nurse managers. The degree can prepare a nurse to seek out a profession as a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse manager, or clinical nurse specialist. However, the graduate will not have a degree that qualifies them for work in this field but is often used to prepare an individual for further studies or for obtaining a masters in a particular subject.
As with all graduate degrees, the masters in nursing has its own requirements in order to be accepted into the program and complete the program. For those students who want to become licensed in the state of their choice and are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, there are a number of different options available. These may include completing a master's degree in nursing administration or a doctorate in nursing from a recognized university.
Those students who are interested in obtaining their master's in nursing and are interested in becoming either a registered nurse practitioner, will have to pursue the master's degree. While these students may still be able to finish a bachelor's degree or even a master's in business administration, they will need additional coursework to complete the program. Students should be prepared to complete over 200 hours of required coursework in order to earn a master's degree in nursing. In addition, they will have to complete four years of on-the-job experience as well.
Doctorate degrees are similar to the master's degrees in nursing but do not require four years of study. After earning a doctorate in nursing, students will have their work cut out for them when it comes time to obtain employment in a doctor's office. They will also have to take a one-year residency program at a hospital.
The Masters degree is also known as the Doctorate of Nursing Administration (DNDA). This program prepares students for employment as clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurse managers, or administrative assistant-level nurse specialists. It is also the only degree that requires students to complete a two-year course load in order to become a certified nurse assistance specialist (CNA). There are also additional courses required for students interested in obtaining a Master's of Science degree in nursing administration in areas like medical billing, management, coding, or insurance law.
Those interested in becoming a physician, medical researcher, or educator in any area of the medical field can also obtain a Masters of Science in Nursing degree through an online program or through a college that offers these types of programs. However, the student will need to complete more coursework than their master's degree program to be accepted into a residency program.