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What Are the Job Options for a Nurse With an MSN?

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree can help you access a world of employment possibilities. With a focus on nursing administration, graduates of an MSN program are eligible for high-paying, rewarding careers in the medical field. From serving as the nurse leader of a team at a hospital to being the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) of an entire healthcare network, there are endless possibilities for MSN graduates to make a difference in their communities.

Medical and Health Services Manager

As a medical and health services manager, you will be responsible for managing the operations of an entire medical facility or a specific department. Many medical and health services managers work in private practice settings, clinics or large-scale medical groups.

Daily responsibilities include accounting, creating and managing budgets, writing reports, and creating rate plans for patients with varying amounts of income. Medical and health services managers are also responsible for managing the staff and overseeing quality service. January 2018 data from notes that medical and health services managers earned between $40,457 and $99,376, with a median salary of $64,826.

Nurse Leader

Nurse leaders (also referred to as nurse managers) are key personnel in the medical field. Nurse leaders are responsible for organizing and leading clinical nursing duties. In addition to completing their own nursing tasks, nurse leaders are responsible for guiding and motivating other nurses on the team. Nurse leaders may be required to evaluate patient treatment and outcomes, change care plans as needed, and work directly with doctors, social workers, and other support staff. Nurse leaders earn between $51,109 and $102,213, depending on experience and location.

Director of Nursing

As a Director of Nursing (also referred to as a Nursing Director), you will oversee all nursing services and activities for an entire healthcare facility. Rather than managing individual personnel, nursing directors are responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of entire departments and programs. Nursing directors are involved in hiring, developing budgets, managing operating costs and overseeing departmental communications. Most nursing directors have at least 10 years of experience in the nursing field. According to Jaunary 2018 data from, annual salaries for nursing directors range from $61,235 to $132,973, with a median salary of $87,838.

Chief Nursing Officer

Large medical facilities such as hospitals and health systems rely on the expertise of a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) to direct the nursing activities throughout the organization. Chief nursing officers are expected to coordinate hospital procedures, ensure employees are following safety policies, and work with other hospital leaders to develop innovative and effective strategies for providing excellent patient care. Chief nursing officers are also responsible for purchasing equipment and managing the budget for an entire nursing department. Due to the many responsibilities of the chief nursing officer position, CNOs are compensated well. Data from January 2018 shows the median salary for chief nursing officers was $123,543.

Nurse Manager

If you enjoy working directly with patients but want to pursue a career in organizational leadership, consider a job as a nurse manager. These nurses oversee patients directly while also managing nursing staff. Nurse managers are responsible for solving problems, resolving conflicts, evaluating patient treatments, discussing treatment options and care plans with physicians, and assigning nursing staff rotations. While the median pay for nurse managers is $76,265, those with critical care experience usually earn more. With experience and specialized skills, nurses managers can earn up to $108,184 per year.

Corporate Clinical Trainer

As a corporate clinical trainer, you will be responsible for managing the training and education programs for newly hired and existing employees. Clinical trainers often develop curricula, administer training, assess employees’ skills and learning, and revise training materials as needed. Clinical trainers are also involved with establishing job descriptions and evaluating organizational activities. If employees are lacking skills in a particular area, the clinical trainer develops a training system and implements it to improve the organization’s human capital. Clinical trainers earn a median pay of $63,886 per year.

Whether you prefer to work closely with fellow nurses, provide direct care to patients, or enjoy managing health services on a larger scale, a Master of Science in Nursing degree can help you claim your dream job.

Learn more about the UAH online MSN — Nursing Administration program.


PayScale: Medical and Health Services Manager Salary

PayScale: Clinical Nurse Leader Salary

PayScale: Nursing Director Salary

PayScale: Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Salary

PayScale: Head Nurse Salary

PayScale: Clinical Trainer Salary


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