Many nurses are choosing to enter RN-MSN programs to increase their salaries and improve their career options. Nationally, the number of nurses obtaining master’s degrees increased by about 60% over the past four years according to a 2013 report issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Such advanced practice RNs are important providers of advanced health care and are rewarded handsomely for their level of expertise. For instance, in 2013 experienced nurse practitioners in Rhode Island earned 30.1% more than their colleagues with RN licenses, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Training.
In 2013, there were 172 students enrolled in MSN programs in Rhode Island according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Nearly 87% of them were studying to become APRNs. This included 133 students who were looking to become nurse practitioners and an additional 16 who were training to become clinical nurse specialists.
RN-MSN programs in Rhode Island are particularly important for nurses seeking advanced practice licenses, as well as those entering nurse education, administration and research
Salary Analysis for MSN-Educated Nurses in Rhode Island
Since nurses with MSNs are qualified to take on more clinical responsibilities than their colleagues with BSNs or ADNs, their salaries are substantially higher. This is evident when comparing nurse practitioner salaries in Rhode Island to staff RNs. The median hourly wage for a nurse practitioner was higher than that of experienced RNs according to the state’s Department of Labor and Training:
Further evidence of the higher salaries that MSN-educated nurses in Rhode Island enjoy is found in the 2012 salary survey released by the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses. Its analysis of nursing salaries in the Northeast showed that the salaries of nurses with MSNs was 18.3% higher than those with BSNs:
- MSN – $85,974
- BSN – $72,665
This survey also showed that the average salary for an APRN in this area of the country was an average of $28,105 higher annually than that of a staff nurse:
- APRN – $92,757
- Staff Nurse – $64,652
Nurse Practitioner Salaries Throughout Rhode Island
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the salaries of nurse practitioners in the Providence and Norwich areas as of 2013.