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All of us rely on nurses and nurse leaders to provide high standards of patient care. Indeed, most healthcare organizations depend on a nursing team to collaborate with physicians in the evaluation and treatment of patients and to ensure that such functions as diagnostics, laboratory work, and patient discharge are handled efficiently.

This points to invaluable opportunities for those who have advanced nursing credentials — opportunities not just to positively impact patient outcomes but also to develop prosperous careers. Those who seek an  online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree will be especially well positioned to take advantage of these career opportunities as a nurse practitioner (NP). Read on to learn about the benefits of attaining an online MSN, including the expected MSN salary range.

Why Pursue an Online MSN Degree?

There will soon be more nursing jobs available than any other vocation, according to American Nurses Association (ANA) research. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for nurse practitioners alone will have grown by 52% between 2019 and 2029 making it one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.

A number of factors lead to the projections, such as a growing physician shortage, but many of them boil down to the realities of an aging population. As the large baby boomer demographic gets older, many of its members are requiring more consistent, robust medical care. At the same time, many medical schools and nursing schools are struggling to scale their activities to meet this new demand. These are just a few of the fields in which qualified nurses can play a significant role in making up the clinical care shortage, and each of these roles is most effectively pursued by attaining an MSN.
nurse at work

How Much Does an MSN Degree Holder Make?

Those who start down the online MSN degree path may want to know what kind of base pay they can expect to make. Ultimately, a number of factors can determine the anticipated MSN salary. The annual median salary for nurse practitioners is reported at $111,680 in 2020, according to the BLS. According to February 2021 PayScale data, Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) may earn an average salary of $95,877 and adult-gerontology acute-care nurse practitioners (AGACNPs) may earn an average salary of $96, 063 annually. The average salary for a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) is $128,671.

Factors That Impact MSN Salary

The salary is variable, depending on several factors. One factor is geographic location: Some markets simply pay more than others, and larger cities tend to offer the most competitive salaries. Years of experience can also play a big role in salary, with more seasoned nursing professionals commanding for higher salaries. The specific position pursued may also dictate salary. Someone with an MSN may be qualified to work either as a floor nurse or a nurse leader. While graduates of a master's program in nursing are typically prepared for administration positions in the field, nurses who attain the MSN NP credential, are prepared and licensed to provide advanced clinical care to patients, and while both roles can be highly satisfying, the latter may bring a higher salary.

Preparing for the Job Market

To prepare for advanced nursing careers, students must develop the right skill sets while also obtaining the requisite educational background. Hawai‘i Pacific University’s online Master of Science in Nursing program enables students to accomplish both goals, earning their degrees through a dynamic, progressive curriculum that enables them to hone all the skills necessary for successful, high-level nursing careers.

The program is designed to help students to fine-tune the skills they need to be proficient in patient care while also serving as invaluable resources to other members of the clinical care team and their communities. Specifically, the program focuses on the development of strong leadership, technical, analytical, and interpersonal competencies.

Upon graduation from the program, students will be equipped to:

  • Conduct comprehensive patient examinations
  • Diagnose and manage patient care, maximizing clinical outcomes
  • Promote healthy decisions and illness prevention
  • Provide care over the span of a patient’s lifetime
  • Rise into positions of greater nursing leadership and responsibility

Develop Your Skills as a Nurse Practitioner

Ample opportunity is available for nurses who wish to fill patient care gaps and provide real leadership in medical settings. The best way to start down that path is through attaining an MSN. This advanced degree can equip nursing professionals with a wide range of essential skills that can help them pursue a specialized position and become health care leaders. Start the process by learning more about Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Online Master of Science in Nursing degree.


CNBC, “America’s Aging Population is Leading to a Doctor Shortage Crisis”

National Center for Biotechnology Information, “The Impact of the Advanced Practice Nursing Role on Quality of Care, Clinical Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction, and Cost in the Emergency and Critical Care Settings: A Systematic Review”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

Family Nurse Practitioner Salary, PayScale

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Salary, PayScale

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Salary, PayScale