Two Types of Nursing Graduate Education

Two Types of Nursing Graduate Education



After obtaining a baccalaureate degree in nursing, a nurse can pursue further education in any number of graduate fields, including nursing. You can receive the degree of Master of Arts (MA) in Nursing, Master in Nursing (MN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).


The nursing graduate degree provides the advanced clinician with strong skills in nursing science and theory with emphasis in the basic sciences and research-based clinical practice. A master’s degree in nursing can be valuable for nurses seeking roles or nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, nurse administrator or nurse practitioner

Professional doctoral programs in nursing (DSN or DNSc) emphasize the application of research findings to clinical nursing. Other programs emphasize more basic research and theory and award the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in nursing.

The need for nurses with doctorate degrees is rising. Expanding clinical roles, new areas of nursing such as nursing informatics and rapidly advancing technology are just a few reasons for increasing the number of doctorate-prepared nurses. It is important to continue to do research in this kind of profession.

Nursing graduate degree programs are needed to educate the beginning nurse and those seeking advanced academic and clinical preparation. Because nursing is a dynamic profession, continuing education programs help nurses remain current in nursing skills, knowledge and theory.

The goals of pursuing a graduate degree education in nursing are to improve and maintain nursing practice, promote and exercise leadership in effecting change in health care delivery systems and fulfill professional learning needs.

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