Could it hurt a nurse’s career to pursue a non-nursing master’s degree?

By | 2021-05-07T16:33:59-04:00 July 2nd, 2015|0 Comments
Dear Donna,

I have a BSN and would like to continue my education but don’t want to get an MSN. Would I be hurting my career if I pursue something like business or education?

Wants to Get a Non-nursing Master’s Degree,

Dear Wants to Get a Non-nursing Master’s Degree,

An advanced degree in nursing is required if you want to teach in an academic setting. It is also important to some employers if you stay in the clinical setting. But the truth is that many nurses in other settings have master’s degrees in non-nursing majors such as business, education, psychology, public health, communication and healthcare informatics to name a few. Read “How to get back to school” for additional information on choosing a major and other tips.

If you don’t want to work in academia, find a major with course work and curriculum that interests and excites you and go after it. But do check with your employer to see if they have any special requirements regarding majors for you to be eligible for tuition reimbursement if that applies.

For your information, there are many dual-degree programs offered where you get the MSN along with a master’s in business, public health, healthcare administration, etc. Many nurses opt for that route.

Other than the exceptions I mention above, what matters in the end is that you get the master’s degree, in any major.

Best wishes,

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About the Author:

Donna Cardillo
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, is president of Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, and author of "Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional" and "The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career." She brings more than 25 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.

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