top jobs for nurses 2018

Top Jobs for Nurses with an MSN in 2018

Nurses who possess a Master’s degree are guaranteed an abundance of exciting career options. Since MSN degrees vary by area of specialization, it’s important to find a program that will help you meet your career goals. A degree from Spring Arbor University’s online Master’s program can prepare you to fill one of the top nursing jobs of 2018. The following areas of specialization are expected to provide the greatest benefit in terms of job prospects, salary and development of the profession.

#1 Family Nurse Practitioner

With the country currently experiencing a physician shortage, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are in great demand and have assumed a broadened role in healthcare delivery. They provide a wide range of health across a variety of settings. While most states require NPs to work collaboratively with physicians, some states allow NPs to open their own clinics. Nurse practitioners are proven cost-effective providers of high-quality care. Patients under the care of NPs have higher patient satisfaction, fewer unnecessary hospital readmissions, fewer potentially preventable hospitalizations and fewer unnecessary emergency room visits.

Spring Arbor University offers a Family Nurse Practitioner Track that will prepare graduates to treat patients of all ages. Those who focus on family practice will always be in demand in primary care as well as other settings. This demand will grow as access to services, coverage, and service settings increases under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Growth of 31 percent is expected by 2026. NPs can safely augment the physician supply to support reform efforts aimed at expanding access to care. Family NPs can expect an average salary of $100,910 per year.

#2 Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

By 2030, one in five Americans will be older than 65. Older adults are more likely to suffer from chronic disease and co-morbidity. They present a unique set of health issues requiring specialized care. Gerontological NPs work in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, hospitals and medical offices. Studies have documented the cost-effectiveness of NPs in managing the health of older adults. For example, nursing home residents who are patients of NPs have lower rates of hospitalization and lower overall costs.

All Nurse Practitioner tracks at Spring Arbor University can be completed on an RN to MSN track which allows you to specialize as a NP faster and more affordably than pursuing your BSN first. The gerontological NP track provides graduates with the clinical reasoning skills needed to best care for the elderly. Currently, there are not enough primary care physicians to care for an aging population, and there will be a greater need for nurses who specialize in caring for the elderly. Nurse practitioners earn an average of $100,910 per year.

#3 Nurse Educator

Nurse Educators are responsible for preparing students for careers in the medical field. Without sufficient nursing faculty, educational programs will not have the capacity to train enough nurses to meet workforce needs. Current faculty shortages are due to the aging of the faculty workforce, a declining pipeline of future faculty and the growth of health professions schools. MSN graduates specializing in nursing education are qualified to serve as teachers, instructors and professors at a variety of institutions. In some cases, health care facilities employ nursing educators to provide instruction to newly hired nurses.

Spring Arbor University offers an MSN/ED Program designed to give you the knowledge and skills you’ll need to prepare the next generation of nurses to deliver compassionate, high-quality  care. Given the high demand for nursing professionals, it makes sense that there is also great demand for nurse educators. This field is expected to grow up to 19 percent by 2020. Nurse educators earn an average of $75,030 per year but this varies greatly based on the setting. For example, those employed at specialty hospitals average $106,910 per year.

#4 Nurse Administrator

Nurse Administrators deal with the “behind the scenes” operations of nursing. They oversee all aspects of a department’s nursing staff and often function as a liaison between the staff and hospital administrators. Nurse administrators set performance standards and recommend policy and procedural changes. They also serve as instructors and mentors to new nurses. An MBA is a basic qualification for executive nursing positions. Health care organizations feel that MBA-prepared nurses understand both patient care and business outcomes which leads to a better bottom line.

With the MSN/MBA dual-degree program at Spring Arbor University, you can tailor your education to your career goals by focusing on a business track. For example, the health care administration concentration focuses on contemporary issues in health care administration, policy, economics, quality and strategy of health care management. The field of health care administration is expected to experience growth of 20 percent by 2026. Nurse administrators earn an average of $96,540 per year.

#5 Chief Nursing Officer

An organization’s senior nurse management position is typically referred to as the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). This individual is responsible for leading operations. It is a big-picture position requiring long-term, visionary and strategic thinking skills. CNOs maintain satisfaction within their teams and empower them to create solutions to barriers that may hinder achieving quality patient outcomes. CNOs typically hold an MSN/MBA and have 15 years of management experience. They combine their hands-on nursing experience with the managerial skills of a top executive.

Spring Arbor University’s MSN/MBA dual-degree program, with its five concentrations, is primed to prepare you for a future in the highest levels of nursing management. Approximately half of all CNOs have an annual salary between $80,000 and $130,000. Those with 10 years or more of leadership experience, can expect greater salaries (upwards of $120,000 per year). Overall job satisfaction is high among nurse leaders, with 91 percent reporting job satisfaction with their nurse executive positions.

When nurses decline to pursue advanced education, they are prevented from working in faculty and advanced practice roles at a time when significant shortages exist in both areas. Choosing one of Spring Arbor University’s online Master’s programs will prepare you to practice to the full extent of your training, meet the needs of patients and act as a full partner in leading advances in the American healthcare system.



American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2013). Nurse practitioner cost-effectiveness. Available on the AANP website.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2015). Quality of nurse practitioner practice. Available on the AANP website.

Association of Academic Health Centers (2008). Out of order out of time: The state of the nation’s health workforce. ISBN: 978-0-9817378-0-5
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017, March 31). Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary [Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016]. Available on Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017, October 24). Medical and health services managers [Occupational Outlook Handbook]. Available on Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017, November 20). Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners [Occupational Outlook Handbook]. Available on Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Institute of Medicine (2010, October 5). Health care reform and increased patient needs require transformation of nursing profession. Available on the National Academies of Sciences website.

Institute of Medicine (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Love, R. (2014, October 14). Master’s degrees for nurses: MBA vs. MSN. Available on the LinkedIn website.

Newhouse, R. P., Stanik-Hutt, J. White, K. M., Johantge, M., … Weiner, J.P. (2011). Advanced practice nurse outcomes 1990-2008: A systematic review. Nursing Economic$, 29(5).

Stokowski, L. A., (2015, March 26). So you want to be a chief nursing officer? Available on the Medscape website.


Comments are closed.

About SAU Online

Since 1873, Spring Arbor University has helped students pursue wisdom by offering an education grounded in the Christian faith. What began as a small elementary and secondary school in the late 1800s has evolved into a premier private Christian university that offers engaging online programs designed to meet the unique needs of busy, working adults. While we’re not the only university to offer online degree programs, our distinction lies in our total commitment to providing educational excellence within a Christ-honoring and supportive online community.

Featuring Highly-Ranked and Respected Programs

HLC NCAccne-logo US News Best Colleges Badge Best Christian Colleges and Universities Best Christian Colleges and Universities Best Christian Colleges and Universities Best Online colleges

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master degree program in nursing at Spring Arbor University are accredited by
the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791