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Is a Master’s Degree in Nursing Worth All the Time and Money?

  • Are you considering a master’s degree in nursing? You’ve come to the right place!
  • Nursing CE Central’s breakdown has all the information you need to help guide you through the researching process.
  • Interested in learning more? Keep reading!
Morgan Curry, RN/BSN

Morgan Curry, BSN / RN

Intensive Care, Outpatient Surgery, Aesthetics, Education, and Nursing Leadership

July 23, 2021
Simmons University


Are you contemplating going back to school and receiving a master’s degree in nursing? Are you trying to weigh out the costs, risks, and job market? 

I hear you loud and clear! 

Let’s get down to the details on if obtaining a master’s degree in nursing is worth all the hype. 

What is the Difference between a BSN and MSN?

In sum, the Nightingale College outlines that a bachelor’s degree prepares a student for an entry-level position as a registered nurse (RN), whereas a master’s degree in nursing prepares an RN for a specialized role as a nurse practitioner or nursing administrator.  

Both are valuable, and you cannot obtain a master’s degree in nursing without earning a bachelor’s first, so this truly depends on what your passions in the industry are, and if you are willing to dedicate a couple more years to furthering your education. 


Are There Job Opportunities?

Yes! There are various routes you can take if you are contemplating earning a master’s degree in nursing. The University of Southern California’s School of Nursing lists several opportunities that are available to you upon receiving your master’s, check them out: 

  • Family nurse practitioner  
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner 
  • Nursing informatics specialist 
  • Geriatric or gerontological nurse practitioner 
  • Clinical nurse researcher 
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner 
  • Forensic nurse consultant or SANE specialist 
  • Nurse ethicist 
  • Nurse educator 
  • Legal nurse consultant 

Please note that some of these careers may require a specialization upon your entry into a master’s program so be sure to do your own research when applying to programs! 


master's degree in nursing blog


Can I Make More Money?

If you want the short answer, it’s a yes.  

Online job recruiting resource, Zip Recruiter, outlines that the national average salary for a master’s degree in nursing holder is $102,522; this is almost $30,000 more than a nurse with a bachelor’s degree! 


What Does a Master’s in Nursing Program Cost?

The cost per program truly varies case by case. 

However, The Nurse Journal determines that on average, a nurse will spend anywhere from $35,000 to $75,000 total in order to obtain a master’s degree in nursing.  

Although this price is high, depending on your current work situation, some healthcare facilities will provide their employees with a tuition reimbursement program! 

Online resource for nurses looking to advance their careers,, offers valuable information on tuition reimbursement programs, as well as various scholarship opportunities that might be available to you; I recommend checking it out and doing your research! 

The Verdict: Is It Worth It?

Truly, this is up for you to decide.  

Do the benefits outweigh the time and cost it takes to get there? Are you passionate enough about one area of nursing to specialize in it, or do you prefer a general variety? 

If you want my opinion, I believe that earning a master’s in nursing is very worthwhile, however, there are always opportunities and room for advancement without one! 

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