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MSN – Psychiatric Nurse Specialist

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At a Glance

Serves: USA
Accredited: Yes
Enrollment: Several Terms
Financial Aid: Yes
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One of the best things about getting an advanced nursing degree is that students can choose to specialize in the area of medicine they most enjoy. Educational concentrations vary from school to school, but one option that many colleges offer is a degree in psychiatric nursing. By choosing to become a psychiatric nurse specialist, the patients students see on a daily basis may not be dealing with life-threatening medical conditions like they find in other parts of the medical world, but students still be saving lives by helping them.

A master of science in nursing (MSN) course prepares students for a career working in mental health by teaching them more about psychiatric conditions, as well as readying them for a leadership role in the workplace. As a psychiatric nurse specialist, students often are the first person a patient sees when asking for help. So, it’s the psychiatric nurses job to assess the patient to determine if he or she needs to see a doctor, take medications, seek other forms of treatment, etc. An MSN gives students a good working knowledge of a number of different kinds of psychiatric conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder, paranoia, schizophrenia, and dementia.

Students also learn how to communicate with patients of all mental abilities, as well as how to discuss cases with family members or others who may be in charge of making decisions for those who are not mentally able to make decisions for themselves. Coursework prepares students for a number of situations in the mental health field, as these specific challenges are very different than what is found in other kinds of nursing. Once students have their MSN, they can also decide to go on to get their doctorate, which further prepares them for a career in psychiatric nursing.

Featured Schools With Online Master's in Nursing Degrees


Southern New Hampshire University provides healthcare professionals with the unique opportunity to further advance their careers through Clinical Nurse Leader degree program. Southern New Hampshire is an accredited online university furthering the academic advancement of thousands of individuals nationwide.

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The Master of Science in Nursing program, which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of registered nurses with baccalaureate-degree preparation.

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Earn your M.S. in Nursing with a specialty in nurse administration or nurse education with an online degree from Kaplan University. The Master of Science in Nursing is also a foundation for future doctoral studies. And because these programs are completed online, it is easy to continue your current job.

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The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of registered nurses with baccalaureate-degree preparation. Coursework covers advanced nursing content and process, as well as leadership skills, teaching experience and the ability to manage health care systems. Areas of specialty within their MSN program include health education, informatics, health administration, and healthcare management.

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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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The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs from Capella University Online are geared toward BSN graduates currently working as registered nurses (RNs). They offer MSN - Nurse Educator and MSN - Nurse Educator Bridge programs. For those wishing for a flexible and affordable plan to take their nursing careers to the next level, Capella is a very sound choice.

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