A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is one of the highest degrees available to nurses, but once you have this degree, you may qualify for an additional license or for some certification too. These pieces of paper show that you have the skills necessary to work in specialized fields and let employers know that you took the time to get the certificates needed to work in certain fields. Depending on what you go for, you might work with pregnant women, kids or patients who need immediate help.
Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Online Nursing Administration Degrees (MSN)
Family Nurse Practitioner
Getting approval to work as a family nurse practitioner is just one of the options open to you. These nurses work with the entire family rather than people of a certain age. They often work in family health clinics and private practices. These nurses take medical histories, identify the conditions that patients have and offer treatment solutions that they suggest to a doctor working on staff. Some clinics allow these nurses to perform full examinations on patients and let them treat patients too. These clinics are in both rural and urban communities.
One you have your MSN, you can apply for certification to become a nurse midwife too. A nurse midwife may work as part of a team of health care specialists who offer assistance to pregnant women, but they can also handle much of the medical care of a pregnant patient. You might find yourself working in an area where doctors are scarce and helping patients during the early stages of their pregnancies and until they give birth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean wage for nurse midwives is just over $49 an hour or more than $100,000 a year. Midwives many need to help patients after they deliver and until they leave the facility.
Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
If you like the idea of working with women, but do not want to work with just pregnant women, you might consider getting your license to work as a women's health nurse practitioner. These practitioners work with women dealing with a wide range of medical conditions and problems such as spotting between periods, intense cramping during menstruation and the early onset of menopause. A health nurse practitioner who works specifically with women will often make suggestions to help women deal with their symptoms, offer different treatment ideas and run tests to determine the cause of those symptoms.
Emergency Nurse Practitioner
Some nurses prefer the excitement that comes from working in an emergency department. Very few hospitals and urgent care centers will hire new nurses though or those who recently got their degrees because they need professionals who can think and react quickly on their feet. Working in an emergency room means working with dozens of patients or more every day. You'll need to have strong problem solving and decision making skills because you may find yourself in situations where there are no doctors close by. Emergency nurses may leave the department and occasionally work in the field too.
Getting an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree isn't the final step in becoming a nurse. Depending on what you want to do or where you want to work, you may need to get your MSN degree or some type of certification or license too.