So, you’re considering further education in nursing. However, with the often exorbitant costs associated with completing a degree, you may be asking – is it really worth it?
In short, the answer is yes! Completing further studies in nursing has a multitude of benefits. From opening doorways to career opportunities you may not otherwise have access to, to maximizing your earning potential – completing a higher qualification is always a good idea.
The hard part? Choosing which nursing degree to complete! Stay with us as we explore the different types of nursing qualifications and uncover the costs associated with completing them, as well as, of course, explain the many benefits of pursuing further education in nursing.
Which Nursing Degree to Choose: The Different Types of Nursing Courses and Qualifications
If you are considering completing a tertiary qualification in nursing, you may be at a loss as to which nursing degree you should choose to undertake! Granted, there are many different types of nursing courses to choose from.
For undergraduate students just starting on their nursing education pathway, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (also known as a BSN), is a great entry point. For more established postgraduate students and individuals who are already qualified as Registered Nurses or RNs, you have the option of completing further studies, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (or MSN). There is also the option to complete a doctoral degree known as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (or DNP).
Importantly, the differences between completing an MSN vs a DNP are considerable. While each of these postgraduate degrees will assist in advancing your nursing career, they differ in terms of the duration of the required study period, as well as – perhaps more importantly – the career outcomes available to the graduate upon course completion.
For example, a Master of Science in Nursing can help prepare the student for a career in a specialized area of nursing. As such, it requires the student to complete specialist elective units in their chosen field of specialization. A Doctor of Nursing Practice, on the other hand, can allow for a career pathway in leadership, management, and higher levels of nursing. Ultimately, the choice of degree is yours to make and is dependent on your personal career goals and objectives.
The Price of Higher Education: How Much Do Nursing Courses Cost?
So, you’re considering enrolling in a nursing course. If this is the case, you may well be asking, how much does a nursing degree cost?
Importantly, the cost of completing a qualification in nursing can vary greatly based on the specific course you are choosing to complete, as well as where you choose to study. For example, the fees associated with an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can, in the United States, be priced anywhere between $25,000 to $120,000 – depending on which educational facility you choose to enroll in.
Of course, electing to complete your nursing degree via online study (also known as distance learning) is a great way to cut costs as a student. This is because fewer overheads are associated with delivering a course off-campus. As such, universities will often price the course fees associated with an online degree considerably more competitively than for a course delivered at their facility.
The good news? While you will be saving a great deal of money by studying online, the quality of your education will not be impacted. As an online student, you will have access to all of the same course materials as your on-campus peers – albeit virtually. You will also be able to participate in online classrooms via video conferencing technology, meaning you won’t feel disconnected from your classmates or tutoring staff. Further, your tutors and lecturers will still provide you with the same level of communication, guidance, and support, as if you were physically attending your classes.
The Benefits: Why Pursuing Higher Education in Nursing is Worth It
If you want to be the best nurse you can be, it pays to pursue a higher education. Put simply, the higher the level of education you reach, the better the career prospects and opportunities that are available to you. Depending on your career goals, choosing the right nursing degree can help set you on a flourishing career trajectory. As a postgraduate nursing student, a coveted and impactful role in leadership and management could be yours!
Further, of course, the more highly qualified you are, the higher the salary you can earn. As the saying goes – to earn more, you must learn more! That is to say, often, the more knowledgeable you are in your field, the more you can demand for your wage. Of course, potential earnings are not the main motivator for every nursing professional. Despite this, it can be argued that being provided with a competitive salary is an important form of recognition of your hard work and dedication.
Completing further education in nursing certainly has its benefits. From allowing you access to elevated career prospects, as well as a higher salary – if you’re considering a higher qualification, you should go for it! The only thing between you and your career goals is your decision to enroll.