What Can You Do With a Master’s in Nursing? 3 Paths to Pursue

Topics: nursing programs

Published on: 6/19/24 12:00 PM

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Nursing? 3 Paths to Pursue

If you have an undergraduate degree in nursing, building on your degree with advanced specialized education builds your usable skillset, allows for more clinical training, and opens doors to new career options and better benefits. Whether you’ve been working in nursing for some time or you’ve recently graduated from an undergraduate program, earning your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) allows you to pursue advanced practice roles, specifically those of a nurse practitioner.  

The nurse practitioner profession is in high demand, predicted to grow by almost 40% in the next decade, making it one of the best careers in healthcare to pursue. We’ve compiled a list of three common paths for nurse practitioners with a Master’s degree: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, and Family/Individual Across the Lifespan. Each of these roles starts with a Master’s in nursing and offers a fulfilling career in specialized nursing care.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) manages acute, critical, and complex chronic physical and mental illnesses in adult populations. The ages treated by an AG-ACNP range from late adolescence through frail older adults. The AG-ACNP role focuses on stabilizing a patient's condition, preventing complications, and restoring maximal health on a patient-by-patient basis.

AG-ACNPs typically work in the hospital setting in intensive care or trauma units but can also work in specialty clinics or long-term care facilities. Due to the variety of patient care scenarios that AG-ACNPs may encounter, this specialty requires adaptability and composure in high-pressure environments. AG-ACNPs are qualified to monitor patients, write prescriptions, assess patient responses to treatment, and provide regular nursing care.

Certified AG-ACNPs can look forward to excellent career prospects. Graduates with an MSN in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care can enter the workforce as an AG-ACNP, continue to advanced medical degrees, or pursue a different nursing specialization. 

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Unlike an AG-ACNP, an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP) focuses on delivering preventative care and management of chronic illnesses and acute illnesses, conditions, and injuries that fall under primary care.

AG-PCNPs are qualified to work in various practice settings including outpatient practices and long-term care facilities. They provide extensive care for a diverse patient population, including obtaining medical histories, performing physical examinations, ordering and interpreting screening and diagnostic tests, and administering pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies in adult populations.

As a nurse practitioner profession, AG-PCNPs are in demand and face a bright outlook. Because of their versatility and integral role in modern healthcare, AG-PCNPs have good career prospects and excellent pay and benefits, with the option to continue on to more advanced medicine.

Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) provide healthcare to individuals and families in all stages of life from infancy to older adults. The FNP role includes delivering preventative healthcare and managing acute and chronic illnesses, conditions, and injuries that fall under primary care. FNPs practice in various outpatient settings and are committed to providing family-centered care with a focus on promoting health within communities.

FNP roles are on the rise in the healthcare industry, with many available career options in outpatient clinic settings. Because of their advanced skill level and education, FNPs can provide more comprehensive patient care and receive better pay and benefits than registered nurses. 

Getting an MSN from Neumann 

With the variety of nursing specializations available, future nurse practitioners can consider their strengths and career goals when choosing a path. With the right MSN degree, you can advance your nursing career and find fulfillment in your specialization. 

Neumann University has been offering comprehensive graduate nursing degree programs for over 20 years, and 100% of our faculty are experienced nurse practitioners who bring real-life experiences into the classroom. If you’re interested in transforming patient care outcomes and integrating your passion into your MSN, download our free guide to becoming a nurse practitioner. Commit to specialization in nursing and guarantee better career outcomes and a profession that fits your interests and skills.

Bettsy McKlaine

 Bettsy McKlaine

About The Author: Bettsy McKlaine is the Executive Director of Enrollment Management, Degree Completion & Graduate Programs at Neumann University and a proud Alumna. The Neumann Community has become her second family and she loves to interact with students, both from the undergraduate and graduate population. Her favorite time of year is at the start of each semester as students begin classes!



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