What You Can Do with a Master’s Degree in Nursing

Posted May 6, 2019 | By csponline

Getting a master's degree in nursing

The profession of nursing is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after fields and for good reason. Among the many attractive attributes, nursing offers tons of flexibility and job security. While most are familiar with the traditional advanced practice degrees and roles you can obtain in the field, there are other emerging roles that emphasize leadership. Let’s discuss several nontraditional roles a master’s degree in nursing leadership can qualify you for!

Care Coordination

Care coordination is the process of identifying barriers to quality care and implementing interventions within health care systems. This role is high-impact as implementations have the potential to improve outcomes for not only patients but providers and payers. This role requires strategic examination of the flow of care from the time a patient is admitted to a health care system, throughout the entirety of their stay and finally discharged. Nurse leadership in this role can be applied to almost all patient-centered care settings including but not limited to the hospital, clinic, outpatient, surgery, etc.

Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice is an approach to nursing that is driven and guided by evidence and enacted by implementation. The consideration of current research, innovation, and clinical expertise all play a role in development of practice goals. Nurse leaders in this role work alongside organizational management as well as those directly involved in care to determine the best route for implementation of new evidence into current practice policy. Nurse leaders in this role can be seen in mostly all patient-centered care settings.

Quality Improvement

Quality improvement is an area of health care that largely focuses on the prevention of medical errors. This field was in part brought about after a report published by the Institute of Medicine revealed alarming gaps in the delivery of care that made patients more susceptible to injury on behalf of providers. Quality improvement incorporates evidence-based practice and performance improvement to facilitate change. Nurse leaders in this role can implement quality improvement in almost all areas of health care by creating tests of change, guidelines, health and safety initiatives, and other measurable tactics that provide insight into causation of poor outcomes.

Population Health

Population health is a multiorganizational approach that can be customized to address a specific health problem. Not to be confused with public health, population health differs in that there is heavy emphasis on the allocation of various resources that collectively improve said health issue. According to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention, “This approach utilizes nontraditional partnerships among different sectors of the community – public health, industry, academia, health care, local government entities, etc. – to achieve positive health outcomes.” This leadership role in nursing is mostly applicable in the outpatient and community settings.

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Advance Your Nursing Career

Leadership in nursing will put you at the intersection of change. Nurses are privy to critical insight that can spark and facilitate intervention. Job opportunities are plentiful and allow degree holders a high-impact advocacy role in which their work can be felt and seen.

As the profession of nursing and the needs of health care systems continue to change, I believe we will see more nurses at the forefront in leadership roles. When you’re ready to become one of those leaders and enroll in a grad program, consider earning your masters in nursing online with Concordia University, St. Paul. Their program prepares working nurses for informal and formal leadership roles in a variety of health care settings with coursework focused on leading innovative teams in care coordination, quality improvement, and population health.

Julia Eze, MSN, RN, NP-C is a board-certified nurse practitioner and registered nurse. Follow Julia on her blog or Instagram @thenursejulia.

 

References:

https://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/evidence-based-reports/caregaptp.html

https://www.cdc.gov/pophealthtraining/whatis.html