Graduate Nursing Programs To Boost Your Career And Income

Nurses and other health care professionals are looking towards a graduate nursing program to boost their career - and earnings. According to Petersons, 678 universities have graduate nursing programs for general nursing alone! Out of these 678 graduate programs, 171 of these schools also offer a doctorate nursing program.

For example, a Bachelor of Nursing Degree (BSN) is considered an advanced degree in the nursing field (as opposed to the Licensed Practical Nurse or the Registered Nurse, neither of which requires a bachelor’s degree). The starting salary range for BSN nurses is an average of $36,000 - $45,000, but can top $70,000 depending on areas of specialty:

BSN Salary Ranges Based on Specialty

  • RN: $52,750
  • Nurse Manager: $67,922
  • Nurse Case Manager: $58,893
  • Director, Nursing: $71,619
  • Clinical nurse manager: $66,252
  • Nurse school: $37,867
  • Nurse Practitioner: $71,364

Alternately, if you are interested in a graduate nursing program which focuses on acute care/critical care nursing, Petersons lists 48 schools that specializes in that area - of which 18 offer a doctorate degree. Lastly, if you are interested in an occupational health graduate nursing program, 12 universities offer a masters degree and seven offer a doctorate nursing program in occupational health.

Some universities, such as Boston College, offer a combined graduate nursing program, which leads to a MS/PhD from their William F. Connell School of Nursing. The program allows tudents to use 12 credits from their master’s program toward their PhD coursework. This accelerated nursing program is designed to award both degrees within a four-year period of full-time study. Students usually complete their master’s degree within two years and then move onto their doctoral studies. The combined number of credits needed for both degrees is 79.

While according to their website the deadline has passed, Boston College and Genesis HealthCare Nurse Scholars Program (Genesis Scholarship) does offer a generous scholarship, as do other universities. When applying to a graduate nursing program, always check the university’s financial aid pages, where scholarships and grants are posted. Even if it is too late to apply for the coming school year, it’s always a good idea to download the applications and begin to fill it out and get familiar with what the school requires. Usually, an essay is required along with several recommendations. Word of advice: it is best to leave plenty of time for your recommenders to complete their part of the application.

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