If you’re already working as an RN and are wondering what next steps to take in your career, being prepared to go back to college and complete further education is something you should consider. While not all career paths in nursing will require this, if you want to specialize in a certain field, or simply boost your career prospects, additional degree certificates will work in your favor. Below are a few examples of why you should pursue a master’s or a Ph.D. in nursing.

Professional Progression

The most obvious reason to continue with your studies as a nurse is to improve your prospects of moving up the career ladder. If you already have a master’s degree in nursing, studying for a Ph.D. will make you stand out as a candidate for more senior and challenging roles, and in some cases, is a requirement. There are different kinds of courses you can take, and most programs can be flexible around your working hours, particularly if you enroll in an online course. You can find out more about a DNP vs. PhD, and see which route is better for you.

Learn New Things

Studying at a higher level for nursing is also a great opportunity to learn new things and explore your role in-depth. If you’re a nurse who wants to develop their skill set and understanding of your position in healthcare and learn how to take on more responsibilities in your role, studying for a Ph.D. is a great idea. You will learn more about how to research effectively, develop your leadership skills, and learn more about how funding is distributed in healthcare.

It’s Challenging

It’s always good to challenge yourself, not only for the sake of your career but for your personal development, too. If you feel as though you’re not being pushed enough at work, or could be making more progress with your knowledge, pursuing both a master’s and a Ph.D. in nursing will certainly provide plenty of challenges for you as a nurse. As it will open up more doors for you in terms of career progression, it’s also a good way to prepare yourself for the additional responsibilities of these more senior roles.

Become a Mentor

As a nurse with this kind of expertise and knowledge, you will then be in a prime position to become a mentor to new nurses and other healthcare professionals that can learn from you. Being able to support other members of staff to help them develop is not only a rewarding experience, but you will be actively helping to make your working environment a better place. It’s also a great opportunity to improve your leadership and communication skills as you will be acting as a teacher, and someone your mentee looks up to.

Help to Develop Healthcare

As a Ph.D. in nursing will give you a better understanding of research methods, you can use these skills to help develop new ideas and plans in healthcare. You can write books and essays about your research and findings, move into academic roles, or even look at advisory roles for the government to help them plan for healthcare budgets and strategies. There is so much you can do with a Ph.D. in nursing, and you can get more involved in the innovation of the healthcare sector, becoming a trailblazer in your field.

A Sense of Achievement

Finally, on completing your nursing Ph.D., you will have an enormous sense of achievement that you can be proud of for the rest of your life. It will take a lot of determination and dedication to complete your doctorate, but as it will open so many doors for you in terms of career progression as a nurse, it’ll all be well worth the effort.

If you’re already a nurse with a master’s degree and want to move forward in your career, consider pursuing a Ph.D. Even if you’re an individual who is still deciding on whether or not they want to pursue a career in nursing, keep in mind how these additional degrees could help you pave out your career path. There are many different Ph.D. programs available for nurses, many of which are flexible and will allow you to continue working in your full-time or part-time roles. If you’re still unsure about whether or not you should commit to getting a master’s or a Ph.D. as a nurse, speak to your colleagues or mentor for more information and advice on how this could be beneficial to your career.

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