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Exploring MSN specializations at South University

Pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing degree can open up a world of opportunities and new roles within nursing and healthcare.* At South University, we offer five MSN specializations designed to prepare you to pursue your career goals and aspirations:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Informatics.

Let’s explore each of the paths now so that you can decide which one is right for you.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

The FNP specialization is a fantastic choice for those who aspire to provide comprehensive, community-based healthcare to individuals and families across the lifespan. FNPs are trained in diagnosing and treating many acute and chronic health conditions. They provide preventive care and educate patients about making healthy choices as they grow and age. With an MSN FNP degree, you'll have the flexibility to work in various healthcare settings, including primary care clinics, urgent care centers, and even as an independent practitioner.

At South University, our MSP FNP degree can be completed in as little as 2 years**. As part of the program, students complete a minimum 750 clinical hours with family health-focused practicums in women’s health, pediatrics, primary care, and adult and gerontology. These experiences will include mentoring, coaching, and precepting by an approved and currently licensed physician or nurse practitioner.

Pros:

  • Diverse patient population (from infancy to older adults)
  • High demand and job opportunities
  • Autonomy in patient care

 

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)

If you're interested in focusing on the unique healthcare needs of adults, adult gerontology primary care might be your ideal specialization. Adult gerontology NPs are manage the health of older adults, including assessing and treating age-related illnesses.

In the AGPCNP role, you may work in settings like nursing homes, geriatric clinics, and hospitals. You’ll provide crucial care to patients of all stages of adulthood, including individuals who are frail and elderly. In doing so, you may see patients with complex comorbidities. You’ll also spend significant time on patient education and preventative care. One consideration is that working with elderly adults can mean dealing with end-of-life care, an important but emotionally challenging responsibility.

The MSN degree with a specialization in Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner can be completed in as little as 2 years** at South University. The program requires adult health-focused clinical practicums in adults and gerontology, reproductive health, and primary care. These experiences will include mentoring, coaching, and precepting by an approved and currently licensed physician or nurse practitioner.

Pros:

  • Growing demand due to an aging population
  • Opportunity to improve quality of life for adults of all ages
  • Autonomy in patient care

 

Nurse Administrator

Are you a natural leader with strong organizational skills? A nurse administrator role could be a perfect fit. Nurse administrators may serve as managers in healthcare facilities, monitor finances, and coordinate nursing staff. They play a pivotal role in improving patient care and facility operations. Being a nurse administrator can mean you’re less involved in direct patient care, as more of your time is spent on strategy, coordination, and planning.

South University’s MSN Nurse Administrator degree and be completed in as little as 2 years**. The program may equip you to make policy and financial decisions, promote patient safety and quality care, and incorporate contemporary technology, practice, and ethics into healthcare. It emphasizes evidence-based, outcome-oriented leadership with an unwavering focus on nursing excellence. It requires a minimum of 240 practicum hours, including practicing the administrative role under guided mentorship.

Pros:

  • Leadership and management opportunities
  • Influence healthcare policies and decisions
  • Stable career path

Nurse Educator

Becoming a nurse educator might be your calling if you're passionate about sharing your clinical expertise and helping your fellow nurses grow. Nurse educators work in various educational and healthcare settings, teaching and mentoring the current and future generation of nurses. They are also responsible for designing, implementing, evaluating, and revising academic and continuing education programs. Being a nurse educator is a rewarding path for those who want to make a lasting impact on the nursing profession. Nurse educators typically spend less time on direct patient care than other nursing roles.

South University’s MSN Nurse Educator program prepares graduates to serve as role models and educators in the classroom and the practice setting. During the program, students will complete 300 practicum hours. Some of this time will be in a direct care role under the supervision of a clinical preceptor. The remaining time will be focused on engaging in the nurse educator role with oversight from a local mentor.

Pros:

  • Fulfilling and meaningful work
  • Strengthening the nursing workforce
  • Opportunities for research and scholarship

Nursing Informatics

In the digital age of healthcare, nursing informatics specialists bridge the gap between healthcare and the fast-paced technology landscape. They plan and optimize the use of electronic health records (EHRs), data analytics, and other technologies to enhance patient care, team communication, continuing education, and overall facility operations. Nurse informaticists may also be involved in managing the implementation of new technology in care settings. If you have an affinity for technology and a desire to improve healthcare systems and decision-making, this specialization is worth considering.

Our MSN program with a specialization in Nursing Informatics is designed to prepare you to develop and implement informatics technology in various care settings, public and community health agencies, medical device vendors, technology companies, disease management organizations, and more. To earn this degree at South University, students must complete 240 practicum hours.

Pros:

  • A blend of healthcare and technology
  • Informatics experts employed in many types of organizations
  • Potential for remote work

What’s Right for You?

Choosing the right MSN specialization is a big decision. Reflecting on your interests, strengths, and long-term career goals is essential. Whether you prefer direct patient care, leadership, teaching, or technology integration, there's a specialized path in nursing that's perfect for you. Remember that each specialization offers unique challenges and rewards, so take your time, do your research, and make a decision that aligns with your passion and career aspirations.

To learn more about the Master of Science of Nursing programs at South University, request information today.

*South University does not promise or guarantee employment.

** Average time to completion for continuously enrolled students full-time. Changing programs, taking remedial courses, taking time off from coursework, registering for fewer hours or unsuccessful attempts at course completion will increase the total length of the program and overall cost of education from what is disclosed.