There are many different career paths that individuals who are interested in entering the nursing profession can follow. While some nursing positions, such as licensed practical nurse, or LPN, need only an Associate’s degree, others, like the registered nurse, or RN, may require the completion of a Bachelor’s level program. Individuals who earn a Master of Science in Nursing, or an MSN degree, are able to select from even more professions and are known as advanced practice nurses. In addition to having completed a graduate program, these professionals also acquire extensive experience and clinical practice before passing their certification. Individuals who are considering beginning an MSN degree program in order to embark on on career as an advanced practice nurse may find many of the following resources helpful in providing information, data and advice on these professions.
Overview on advanced practice nurses
While many people may be familiar with the terms ‘nurse practitioner’ and ‘nurse-midwife,’ they may not be aware of the fact that these medical professionals fall under the umbrella of advanced practice nurses. The resources included in this section should clear up any misconceptions that individuals may hold about the nursing profession and provide much clarification on the role of advance practice nurses in the healthcare system. These texts may be useful for individuals who are considering earning a Master’s in nursing.
Nursing career overview: This resource provides a summary of the nursing profession. In order to give individuals a comparison of the different career paths that are available for nurses, the Mayo Clinic has included information on licensed practical, registered and advanced practice nurses and explained the differences between each one.
Detailed description of the nursing profession: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled a great deal of information that may be relevant and useful to individuals who are considering a career in nursing. This document discusses the nature of nursing work, the different types of nurses that exist important job-related statistics. In addition, it contains projections on the future job outlook and earnings of this profession.
Advanced practice nursing specialties: This document, produced by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, provides information on the different fields in which advanced practice nurses can specialize. In particular, this resource describes the careers of nurse practitionesr, clinical nurse-midwives and clinical nurse specialists in detail.
Education, career and salary information
The education track and career path of an advanced practice nurse is very different from that of an LPN or an RN. Although the exact requirements vary depending on the concentration one chooses to specialize in, extensive coursework, internships and research are required of individuals who wish to enter one of the advanced practice nursing fields. Individuals who are interested in pursuing this career may find the following resources helpful, as they provide much information on certification requirements, job opportunities and salary outlook.
Education requirements for advanced practice nurses: CollegeBoard describes what it takes to become an advanced practice nurse. In addition to discussing the educational commitment necessary to enter this field, it also provides information on career and compensation. This resource could be especially useful for individuals who have not begun their undergraduate work yet, in order to better prepare them to get into a graduate program.
The American Board of Nursing Specialties: This professional association is charged with accrediting nursing programs and setting the requirements and guidelines for certification. Its website provides many resources related to certification that may be of interest to individuals who are deciding where to attend nursing school.
Average salaries of advanced practice nurses: PayScale provides salary information on each of the five different types of advanced practice nurses for individuals to peruse and compare
Advanced practice nursing associations
There are many societies and associations that are dedicated to providing support, job resources and networking opportunities for individuals employed as advanced practice nurses. While some of the organizations are specific to the particular field that one specializes in, others that exist encompass all nurses that fall under the advanced practice umbrella. Individuals may be able to learn a great deal about the particular nursing concentration they are interested in by visiting the site associated with its professional organization. Oftentimes, these associations publish journals, news letters and research studies that could provide one with an inside look at the profession they desire to enter.
American Nurses Association: This professional organization encompasses all 3.1 million nurses who are currently employed in the U.S. Its website provides a wealth of information and resources about the nursing profession.
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners: A professional association for this particular subsection of advanced practice nursing. Individuals who are interested in this specialty will find information about education, legislation, practice and other aspects of this field.
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists: This organization is specifically for nurses who specialize in anesthesia. Its website provides a lot of information on advocacy work related to this field.
American College of Nurse-Midwives: This association provides important resources related to midwifery. This source may be useful for those who are considering earning a master’s in nursing.