How useful is a MSN in LTC?


Hello everyone! This is my first post with allnurses although I have been an avid reader for quite awhile. I have just accepted a position as a staff nurse in a subacute/ltc facility. I have been a nurse for 4 years and have management, med/surg and pysch experience. I recently completed my BSN in 09 and I'm really excited to get back to school to begin my MSN, but my question is how useful will it be in ltc. Other than an NP is there any other positions that would prefer a MSN? Also how many of your facilities offer tuition reimbursement for degrees beyond the BSN?

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VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,982 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

To be honest, I've never even seen an MSN working in long-term care, and I've been at it for quite a while. In LTC there is a lot of responsibility even at the lower levels........LPNs are assessing pts, starting IVs, acting as charge nurses etc. while someone like me with an ASN is apt to wind up in management (I've been a resident care manager, staff development nurse, admissions coordinator, and even DNS without having gone further than community college).

If you're going to stay in LTC facilities, I wouldn't bother with the MSN; they don't pay enough to make it worth the additional expense. Conversely, if your heart is set on higher education, you may want to consider going on to become a geriatric nurse consultant, or even a nurse practitioner with emphasis in gerontology.

Wishing you the best of luck, whatever you decide to do. :)

CapeCodMermaid, RN

6,090 Posts

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

Some places help pay CNAs to go to school or LPNs to become RNs, so I suppose if there is a tuition reimbursement benefit you could use that to help pay for a Master's. I've never known a Master's prepared nurse to do anything in long term care other than being a nurse practitioner. Education is never a waste so if you want a Master's degree and you want to work in LTC, go for it.


71 Posts

Specializes in LTC since 1972, team leader, supervisor,.

I have my MSN?ED, I graduated in 2006 and became the in-service director in the facility I have worked in since I was 18, I am now the DON. Is it needed, no, but it has helped me. I am an educator and that helps alot when dealing with staff issues and preventing problems


683 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, WCC.

I have several MSN nurses working the floor at my facility.

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

3,734 Posts

Has 25 years experience.
I have several MSN nurses working the floor at my facility.

Yep. Times are tough and sometimes they needed change.

If I have seen a MSN, they are in staff education or in our corp nursing dept.


38,333 Posts

Our facility brought in a nurse with a PhD whose position was to have something to do with special projects. When the DON walked off the job while the place was being investigated, the PhD wielding nurse found herself as the DON. She did not last long and was replaced by someone almost as educated. That person moved on to a smaller facility and reportedly survived. These were the two nurses with the highest education levels I saw in LTC.


683 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, WCC.

My floor nurses who are MSN have had the positions for years. It is what they chose to do.

Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management. Has 17 years experience.
... If I have seen a MSN, they are in staff education or in our corp nursing dept.

These are by far the most typical occurrences.