If you’re a nursing student, then you’re well aware that you have plenty of career options open to you after you earn your BSN. A BSN is quite an academic and professional accomplishment for many young nurses. But when you earn a master’s degree in nursing, your career options multiply many times over. This article will reveal five reasons why you shouldn’t stop your nursing education at the bachelor’s level.

1.    The Ability to Specialize

If you want to work in an emergency room or with surgeons in the operating room, a BSN will allow you to do just that. But to specialize in areas such as mental health, oncology, or pediatrics, you will need to earn an MSN.

2.    The Improved Job Prospects

You have many more nursing career paths open to you once you earn your master’s degree. While it is true that the field is ripe for those with a BSN, your marketability as a nurse will improve exponentially if you earn that master’s.

3.    The Pay

Let’s face it: nurses with a master’s degree in their field earn way more than their peers with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Salaries can shoot up into the six figure range: The average salary of a nurse anesthetist (a nurse who administers anesthesia to patients) is $135,000.

4.    The Need to Follow Licensing Laws

As time marches on, it is believed that licensing laws will get a lot more stringent for nurses. Right now, you can become a nurse after you get your BSN and maintain it through continuing education. However, some people in the field believe that the time may come where nurses will need an MSN to practice. If you get your MSN now, you’ll be safe from any changes to these licensing regulations.

Working full time doesn’t have to mean that you have to miss out on the higher pay. Many schools offer an RN to MSN online program, which means that you can earn your master’s degree entirely online. With these programs, you can work during the day and go to school in your spare time.

5.    The Career Advancement Opportunities

Once you earn your MSN, you will have plenty of opportunities to move up the ranks at your place of work. This is because most MSN programs have classes in such areas as advanced communication and leadership. After you earn your degree, you can use these new skills to work as a manager or coordinator at your place of employment.

The reasons to earn an MSN are numerous. From professional advancement to higher pay to potential changes in licensing laws, you may find that enrolling in an MSN program is worth the time, energy and cost.