A Master of Science (MSN) degree in nursing is an advanced level educational qualification for nurses. It is a required qualification to become an advanced practice nurse. There are four types of advanced practice nurses – clinical nurse specialists involved in direct patient care, nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia and related care before and after surgery, nurse-midwives are trained to educate on family planning and conduct gynecological exams, and nurse practitioners are qualified to offer nursing and healthcare services to patients and families.

A masters in nursing also opens up doors for administrative and managerial positions. It is a prerequisite for doctorate-level studies and research positions. Nurses with an MSN degree and work experience are valuable assets as they can contribute toward the management of the business side of healthcare operations. Most job types pay in the low- to mid-seventies; managerial posts pay higher. This normally requires between 5-9 years of work experience, the employer size and location will also influence how soon you can move on to administrative positions.

Employers include hospitals, private clinics, outpatient centers, insurance companies, colleges, foundations and various government organizations. The growth in the healthcare sector and availability of sophisticated equipment and treatment methodologies in clinics and physicians’ offices is a good portend for job opportunities.

Work experience, specialization, employer, and region are some of the factors that influence the average salary of an MSN degree holder. Cities in the states of California and New York pay high average salaries and also impressive hourly rates. An MSN degree holder employed in California can earn as much as $90K. Overtime work is also compensated handsomely. A nurse employed in a rural county clinic or in the Mid-West will make less than one working on the West Coast. Nurses working in a team, with a franchisee, or with the federal government attract good average salaries.