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MSN – Nurse Practitioner

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At a Glance

Serves: USA
Accredited: Yes
Enrollment: Several Terms
Financial Aid: Yes
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When getting a master of science in nursing, there are four educational paths from which to choose — nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, and certified nurse midwife. Many nurses interested in an MSN decide to become nurse practitioners, as this is one of the most versatile educational routes.

Working as a nurse practitioner is similar to the work nurses already do as an RN, but a MSN degree teaches students advanced diagnostic and treatment skills so they prepare to deal with more situations in a healthcare facility. In many cases, patients see a nurse practitioner first, rather than seeing a doctor, and nurses are responsible for knowing if the problem is minor enough for them to treat or if a doctor or specialist is needed. The level at which nurses allowed to treat patients varies from state to state, but in some locations, they can even choose to open their own medical practice if you want.

As a nurse practitioner, students also often qualify for supervisory roles, so courses prepare them to lead teams of other nurses, nursing aids, and volunteers. In addition, students can choose to specialize in one area of medicine, learning more about a certain part of the body (like the cardiovascular system) or a certain age group (like gerontology). Other specializations include nursing education, psychiatric nursing, and health administration. The specialization students choose determines the exact courses they take as part of their MSN program, but no matter where they go to school, getting their degree means that they qualify for better jobs in the nursing field.

Featured Schools With Online Master's in Nursing Degrees


Walden's School of Nursing offers academically rigorous and culturally relevant programs that prepare you to improve the quality of patients' lives, communities, and healthcare institutions.

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Capella's master's degree in nursing gives you access to a wealth of new information and knowledge within the health care system. Their flexible program allows you to achieve your goals and advance your career by earning your msn degree online.

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Earn your dual master's degree in business and nursing, along with specialties in clinical care, education, family nurse practitioner, or nursing leadership at Grand Canyon University's college of nursing and health sciences. Each course can provide you with the skills and techniques you need to become the best in your field.

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Liberty University's School of Nursing prepares students to become nurses who are committed to Christian ethical standards and view nursing as a ministry of caring based on the Patricia Benner's theoretical framework.

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