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Today’s health care scene in the United States is rapidly changing. There are new medical and technological advances, new health care delivery systems and expanded roles for nurses. With these developments, the role of nurses is more diverse and specialized and the supply-demand ratio is affected. According to the Federal Division of Nursing, they predict that by 2010, the growing demand for nurses with Bachelor of Science and in Master of Science nursing degrees will outstrip the supply and by 2020, the demand for BSN and MSN graduates will grow nearly twice as fast as the expected increase in the workforce.
The Nursing education is adapting to these changes. The focus is to make it at par with this new health care landscape, so as to prepare nurses to be leaders who are highly educated, technically sharp decision makers as well as clinicians. Therefore, one will not only learn skills and advanced training to deliver high-quality nursing care in a specialized area but also leadership skills which require ethical and critical decision making, effective working relationships and a systems-perspective. Thus, the focal point in a MSN degree is the nursing process with strong components of clinical medical knowledge complemented by behavioral science concepts. Specialization under the Master of Science in Nursing Degree covers four main categories: clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwife. A full-time master’s degree program requires 18 to 24 months of rigorous study. For those who are practicing their careers and study full-time, online degree programs are also available. In the long run, the extra effort will result to a more stable job with higher pay. An MSN graduate may choose which specific field he or she may be inclined to take resulting in long term job satisfaction. With an MSN degree at hand, one may be more involved in the community where his expertise is needed most, thus, meeting the demand of specialized nurses in the near future.