Part Three: Post-Secondary Nursing Career Pathways – A Five-Part Series

Oklahoma Reach Higher Nursing Student

Author:   Tisha Bradford

The next part of this series will focus on the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The MSN is a graduate program of study designed for nurses who want to practice in a specialized role known as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

Requirements vary by program, but the curriculum for MSN programs are typically designed for licensed RNs who have already completed a bachelor’s-level education. The courses cover topics such as leadership, management, healthcare policy and research. Students who begin an MSN program with a BSN typically take about two years to complete their degree. However, if you’re pursuing an MSN with a bachelor’s degree in another field, you can expect the program to take roughly three years to complete.

What you can do with this degree

Upon completion of an MSN degree, you can coordinate patient care and provide primary and specialty healthcare. Some MSN programs offer admission to RNs with associate degrees, allowing them to pursue a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree simultaneously. Obtaining an MSN will prepare you to work as an APRN in your area of concentration as long as you hold a state license as an RN as well as a national credential in your specialty. Specializations vary by program, but common options include the following:

Earning Potential in Oklahoma

The salaries of APRNs vary, depending on the exact job title, where you work, and level of responsibility. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers general guidelines for average salaries based on the nursing specialty you have obtained. The annual mean wage for a nurse practitioner in Oklahoma is $54.42 and $113,200 annually.

Resources for MSN

Nursing Schools Almanac

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics –


United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Complete list of ADN programs in Oklahoma organized by major metropolitan area

Complete list of Oklahoma nursing schools