NR 500 Week 1: The Value of a Master’s-Prepared Nurse
NR 500 Week 1: The Value of a Master’s-Prepared Nurse
The Value of Master Prepared Nurse
Evidence demonstrates the relationship between a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) in advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) and improved patient outcomes. The Master’s-prepared nurse contributes to developing and leading specialized nursing practice. MSN programs equip nurses with advanced academic knowledge and skills in applying theory to clinical practice, and students are usually required to carry out a research project (Wilkinson et al., 2018). The MSN nurses apply the specialized knowledge and skills to improve patient care delivery and support the achievement of organizational objectives, including delivering quality patient care.
MSN-prepared nurses employ their extensive expertise, networks, and knowledge in health care to create a pivotal role that fosters nursing practice. An MSN degree equips nurses with enhanced communication and nursing practice, enabling them to act as role models and facilitate quality patient care (Kjellaas et al., 2020). Thus, it is evident that an MSN degree has a role surpassing the defined nursing specialist or advanced practice skills. Furthermore, the MSN degree equips nurses with leadership skills empowering nurses to become more effective leaders and take leadership positions in organizations and healthcare systems. An MSN also supports nurses’ increased confidence and self-esteem in decision-making and implementing patient care interventions (Kjellaas et al., 2020). For instance, MSN nurses demonstrate increased confidence to question treatment decisions, positively impacting patient care.
Critical thinking is crucial for MSN nurses to engage in safe, competent, and autonomous practice. The MSN degree improves nurses’ critical thinking and decision-making in clinical practice. Nurses who have completed MSN programs demonstrate higher critical thinking scores in problem-solving, decision-making, inference, evaluative thinking, and reasoning (Wilkinson et al., 2018). This translates to patient benefits, including improved management of conditions, reduced length of stay, and improved patient satisfaction with the nurses’ knowledge, skills, and individual qualities.
Kjellaas, S., Fredheim, G., & Moen, Ø. L. (2020). Registered nurses’ experiences with master’s degree competence in the specialist health service: A qualitative descriptive study. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research, 40(4), 221-228. https://doi.org/10.1177/2057158520946
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Wilkinson, J., Carryer, J., & Budge, C. (2018). Impact of postgraduate education on advanced practice nurse activity–a national survey. International Nursing Review, 65(3), 417-424. https://doi.org/10.1111/inr.12437
Consider the current healthcare delivery models and practice settings. Reflect on how nursing practice is transforming in response to the current demands of the healthcare system and answer one of the following questions:
- What differentiates the practice of a master’s-prepared nurse compared to that of a baccalaureate-prepared nurse?
- What is the value of a master’s degree in nursing?
- What do you consider to be the most essential professional competency for a master’s-prepared nurse practicing in the 21st century?
Refer to AACN Essentials, NLN competencies, and CCN Nursing Conceptual Framework. Use at least one outside scholarly article to support your position. Provide an example to illustrate an application to professional practice.
Nursing practice is transforming in response to the current demands of the healthcare system with shortage of healthcare providers. With high cost of healthcare, advance nursing is reducing the cost of healthcare, nurse practitioners are managing some clinics and urgent care centers. (Bisognano (2010). Leadership and management have also witness these transformation.
This question is so important and mind searching, it helps to know and understand where a master’s degree in nursing is all about and leading the student. I do believe the every nurse going for MSN degree should and must know where the are heading.
There is evidence that nurses who acquire more nursing degree are more likely to improve in clinical judgement, better ability to make decisions, challenge poor practice with good leadership skills with advancement in clinical practice role. Clark et la (2015)
According to Clark et la (2015) the article stated that “there is increasing evidence that nurses who undertake degrees are more likely to have greater competence than non-graduates, and that learning experiences further develop these enhanced competencies” ( Clark, L., Casey, D., & Morris, S. page 328 (2015)
The article further stated that the value of master’s degree in nursing includes but not limited to
■ Changing organisation of health service delivery
■ Consumer demand and approval for nursing role development
■ Better educated workforce
■ Patients have increasingly complex healthcare needs
( Clark, L., Casey, D., & Morris, S. page 330 (2015)
In conclusion, There is some evidence that master’s degree improves patient outcomes but further research is still required. Evidence exists suggesting that critical thinking development, empowerment to challenge poor practice and improved decision making are outcomes of Master’s in nurses. Further work is needed to develop measurable criteria that demonstrate the value of master’s degree in nursing clinical outcomes.
Clark, L., Casey, D., & Morris, S. (2015). The value of Master’s degrees for registered nurses. British Journal Of Nursing, 24(6), 328-334. doi:10.12968/bjon.2015.24.6.328.
Bisognano, M. (2010). Nursing’s role in transforming healthcare. Nurses are rucial to closingquality-of-care gaps. Healthcare Executive, 25(2), 84.
I completely agree with your conclusion statement regarding the value of master’s of science degrees in nursing (MSN) and that further research is needed. I have found in my own research for this assignment, that there is an underlying theme regarding lack of research on the value of MSN significance. It’s easy as nurses to see the value in a degree that not only furthers our expertise and knowledge, but our profession as a whole. It is the medical community, government, and public’s knowledge of MSN significance that needs to be raised. I believe that when a nurse is recognized as a valuable member of the healthcare community at the undergraduate and graduate level, then positive changes can and do occur. Advanced practice nurses ability to function to the full scope of their educated and science based practice is when the MSN’s value comes to light.
Massimi, A., et al. (2017), suggests that master’s prepared nurses show improved confidence and cognitive abilities in their practice. Being able to attain advanced knowledge and critical thinking skills not only betters current practice but future practice as well. In my 20 years in the nursing profession, I know that my own confidence and ability to handle stressful situations at work has grown tremendously. The ability to problem solve, think outside of the box, and communicate clearly but effectively are valuable qualities that I believe an MSN can enhance for myself and nurses alike. MSN programs offer vital skill sets in education, administration, research, and advanced clinical practice at the nurse practitioner, midwife, and anesthetist level (Massimi, A., et al. 2017). I feel that this supports your discussion response that nurses with advanced degrees improve in clinical judgement with decision making and improvement of sometimes less than par current practices. Leadership skills introduced at the advanced academia level in nursing will continue to advance the profession as a whole.
Massimi, A., Marzuillo, C., Muzio, M., Vaccio, M., D’Andrea, E., Villari, P., De Vito, C. (2017). Quality and relevance of master degree education for the professional development of nurses and midwives. Nurse Education Today, 53(2017), 54-60. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2017.04.012
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the Institute of Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Tri-Council for Nursing, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching all agree: Nurses must strive for higher levels of education to enhance the quality of care available to our nation’s varied patient population groups and to make skilled healthcare services more accessible.
In as much as every competency is as important as the other, i found leadership competency as the most important. Leadership competency is able to assume advanced leadership roles, advocate for improved healthcare access and quality, and provide/demonstrate leadership. Leadership competency is useful in the identification of possible areas for growth. Aspiring nurse leaders can use them in planning personal preparation for their careers. Health care organizations may utilize them as a guideline for job descriptions, expectations and evaluations of nurse leaders. Nurse educators can utilize them as a curriculum guideline for the educational preparation of nurses seeking expertise and knowledge in executive practice. Effective nursing leadership competency, creates a positive work environment where others are motivated, inspired, and supported to achieve organizational goals.
New AACN Data Confirm that More Nurses Are Advancing Their Education – a Trend that Enhances Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality. (2013). Dakota Nurse Connection, 11(3), 28.
Schub, E. B., & Balderrama, D. M. (2017). Effective Nursing Leadership: Performing. CINAHL Nursing Guide,
The Value of a Master’s of Science in Nursing
Modern or current healthcare delivery models in today’s practice settings are ones that are driven by a patient and family centered, interdisciplinary approach to healthcare. Long ago are the days where one medical practitioner is determining the plan of care. Professionals from all disciplines joining together in collaboration are the center of modern approaches to medicine. Advanced practice, communication, collaboration through advancing technologies, and working to the full extent of disciplines are proving successful in managing and improving patient outcomes. Team approaches to patient care are crucial in today’s medical fields where aging populations and advancing life expectancies are evident.
The nursing profession has evolved over centuries, and in more recent decades, that it is a workforce to be reckoned with. Nurses play an integral part in the ever evolving, interdisciplinary approach to healthcare. Pursuing Master’s of Science degrees in nursing (MSN) have opened the door to advanced practice roles for nurses. These roles have shown to improve patient outcomes, provide more efficient, effective, and affordable care to 21stcentury populations. The basis of strong academia in the nursing profession has implemented evidence based practices in primary care settings and empowered nurses to question and improve standards that have been in place for years. MSN degrees hold a tremendous amount of value and the pursuit of them gives the nursing profession a bright outlook for generations to come.
Advanced degrees beyond the Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) are crucial for the advancement of the nursing profession as a whole. The growth of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN’s), clinicians, educators, and administrators in the discipline of nursing not only strengthens the profession but further grows the support, respect, and trust of the healthcare community and public. It is vitally important that nurses looking to attain a graduate degree do so by seeking out accredited graduate programs in nursing and not other disciplines. For example, one might argue that a nurse administrator should obtain a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) to acquire the proper job skills to manage a budget for a hospital department. However, an MBA leaves out a huge piece of the puzzle, the model of nursing. Upon further examination of MSN with nurse executive tracks, many of these programs encompass an MBA in their curriculum while they are taught by nurses who have the education and skills needed in the field (Gaberson & Chappy, 2006, p.723).
Nurse looking to become nurse educators whether at the bedside or in the academic setting will benefit from an MSN program that is geared to educate the nurse on how to teach adult learners, design practice based curriculums, and support the education of nurses with the necessary skills for success (Gaberson & Chappy, 2006, p. 723). A generic master’s degree in education would simply be unable to provide the graduate nurse with the skills needed to aid in the education and the further advancement of the nursing profession. Therefore, in regards to the matter of degrees, the MSN graduate studies hold great value as they are geared towards truly preparing the nurse for advanced practice roles that benefit and strengthen the profession as a whole.
Barriers to the Value of an MSN
The great value of an MSN degree can only be highlighted when nurses are able to practice to their fullest potential. Unfortunately, barriers do exist in modern healthcare that limit nurses from practicing at full capacity. Transformation of nursing practice in today’s health care models are a much-needed consideration to further the nursing profession and advanced practice nursing roles (Kunic & Jackson, 2013, p. 236). The Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2010 publication also suggests that nurses should apply their practice to the full extent of their education and training (Kunic and Jackson, 2012, p.236). Challenges that potentially hinder an MSN’s value include barrier to scopes of practices like resistance from state legislatures and the medical community for prescriptive authority to nurse practitioners and restrictions with credentialing.
There are also reimbursement inconsistencies from insurance companies as in cases where an RN First Assist is often unable to bill and be paid individually for the service provided but is rather paid a salary (Kunic and Jackson, 2012, p.236). I have personally worked with an RN First assist who has experienced these struggles. This nurse has even gone unpaid for the skill set he provided for certain cases. For nurses to practice at these advanced levels, graduate education is a requirement and is thus a necessary means to obtain the licensure required. Furthering public awareness of the rigorous academics and training required to obtain an MSN for advanced nursing practice will help raise the community’s knowledge of the services nurses can provide. This ultimately aids in disease prevention, health education, and access to efficient and often times more cost-effective healthcare.
The Value of a Master’s-Prepared Nurse
Graduate nursing education plays a key role in health care reform and transformation. Use of best, evidenced base practice, informatics, patient driven and patient centered care with holistic approaches are the core of an MSN education (Finkelman, 2012, p.256) It is the utilization of these acquired skills and knowledge after the MSN is attained that truly affects its value while bringing about positive change to healthcare. Advanced practice nurses working in a variety of care settings within the communities, are able to implement the expertise and knowledge acquired from their MSN degree and, will display positive improvement in healthcare today. Nurses working to support the growth of the profession and their education will not only gain the respect of the medical community but the public as well. The ability to obtain a graduate degree in nursing online over the past decade has tremendously added value and accessibility to the nursing profession. As time continues to pass, nurses and the education of nurses from undergraduate to graduate will continue to be recognized as a factor that positively affects practice today and in the future.
Finkelman, A. (2012). The movement to improve care, the institute of medicine quality reports and implications for the advanced practice registered nurse. Nursing Clinics, 47, 251-260. doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2012.02.006
Gaberson, K., & Chappy, S. (2006). A matter of degree. AORN Journal, 83(3), 723-725. doi:10.1016/S0001-2092(06)60199-3
Kunic, R., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transforming nursing practice: barriers and solutions. AORN Journal, 98(3), 246-245. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2013.07.003
The Advantage of A Master’s Degree in Nursing
Improved healthcare service quality and efficiency are needed more than ever as our healthcare system advances in medical technology with our aging population. In order to keep up with increased demands in healthcare, nurses are challenged more than ever to think critically and be less task-driven. S. Ge, G.Guo (2015) studies indicated that “palliative care, continuity of care, mental health, transition care, post-transplant care and central venous catheter care were improved when patient care was delivered by master’s-educated nurses.”
Having an advanced nursing education, such as a master’s degree, facilitates providers with
improved communication. Nurse Practitioners are educated to routinely use simple language, limit their teaching to 2-3 concepts, and speak slowly. Communication between providers and patients must be clear to avoid serious errors in healthcare. Joint Commision (2007) stated that “the safety of patients cannot be assured without mitigating the negative effects of low health literacy and ineffective communication as the cornerstone of patient safety”(p.5).
With a masters degree, the nurse practitioner utilizes critical thinking skills and autonomous decision making within a defined scope of practice. Based upon the diagnosis, the practitioner must determine the best plan of care, often involving pharmacological and holistic strategies.
The ability to perform thorough and focused assessments of the patient and arrive at a diagnosis is a critical skill for a nurse practitioner.
Being a nurse practitioner enables you to specialize in your field of choice. It opens opportunities for greater development and personal growth. In addition to specializing, the provider has the liberty of becoming a nurse educator in their field of expertise.
In conclusion, a nurse with a master’s degree has the potential to influence patient health outcomes in a positive way. The provider’s continual education and advanced knowledge in their field of specialty equips them to best diagnose and perform necessary treatment. The practitioner encompasses quality communication skills, critical thinking, and practices in an autonomous technique.
- Ge, G.Guo
A systematic review of the impact of master’s-educated nurses on inpatient care
Intern J of Nurs Sciences, 2 (4) (2015), pp. 414-421
The Joint Commission. What did the doctor say? Improving health literacy to protect patient safety. 2007. Retrieved from http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/improving_health_literacy.pdf.
Participation for MSN
Threaded Discussion Guiding Principles
The ideas and beliefs underpinning the threaded discussions (TDs) guide students through engaging dialogues as they achieve the desired learning outcomes/competencies associated with their course in a manner that empowers them to organize, integrate, apply and critically appraise their knowledge to their selected field of practice. The use of TDs provides students with opportunities to contribute level-appropriate knowledge and experience to the topic in a safe, caring, and fluid environment that models professional and social interaction. The TD’s ebb and flow is based upon the composition of student and faculty interaction in the quest for relevant scholarship. Participation in the TDs generates opportunities for students to actively engage in the written ideas of others by carefully reading, researching, reflecting, and responding to the contributions of their peers and course faculty. TDs foster the development of members into a community of learners as they share ideas and inquiries, consider perspectives that may be different from their own, and integrate knowledge from other disciplines.
Each weekly threaded discussion is worth up to 25 points. Students must post a minimum of two times in each graded thread. The two posts in each individual thread must be on separate days. The student must provide an answer to each graded thread topic posted by the course instructor, by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. MT, of each week. If the student does not provide an answer to each graded thread topic (not a response to a student peer) before the Wednesday deadline, 5 points are deducted for each discussion thread in which late entry occurs (up to a 10-point deduction for that week). Subsequent posts, including essential responses to peers, must occur by the Sunday deadline, 11:59 p.m. MT of each week.
Good writing calls for the limited use of direct quotes. Direct quotes in Threaded Discussions are to be limited to one short quotation (not to exceed 15 words). The quote must add substantively to the discussion. Points will be deducted under the Grammar, Syntax, APA category.
Grading Rubric Guidelines
NOTE: To receive credit for a week’s discussion, students may begin posting no earlier than the Sunday immediately before each week opens. Unless otherwise specified, access to most weeks begins on Sunday at 12:01 a.m. MT, and that week’s assignments are due by the next Sunday by 11:59 p.m. MT. Week 8 opens at 12:01 a.m. MT Sunday and closes at 11:59 p.m. MT Wednesday. Any assignments and all discussion requirements must be completed by 11:59 p.m. MT Wednesday of the eighth week.
- When discussing differentiating factors of a master’s-prepared nurse compared to that of a baccalaureate-prepared nurse, the most obvious difference is the level of formal education. However, the most important difference between these two nurses are evident within their practice, which sets them apart in the clinical field. Master’s-prepared nurses often practice as a nurse practitioner, where they practice with a higher level of autonomy than those with a baccalaureate degree (Clark, et al., 2015, p. 328). Nurse practitioners are required to have at least a master’s degree to “assess and manage patients with undifferentiated and undiagnosed problems” in their routine practice (Clark, et al., 2015, p. 328). The master’s degree of nursing programs reflects mastery of higher level of critical thinking than at the baccalaureate level, as well as the understanding of complete, holistic care (AACN, 2011, p. 7). Therefore, master’s-degree nurses are shown to not only have more formal education, but also a more expansive clinical skill set, more critical thinking skills, and the legal capability to diagnose and treat patients as providers, compared to that of a baccalaureate-prepared nurse.
- There is a significant amount of literature supporting the value of a master’s degree in nursing. A common theme amongst this literature discusses improved delivery of care and patient outcomes with increased involvement of master’s-prepared nurses in the health care system (Clark, et al., 2015, p. 333). The evidence also suggests that master’s-prepared nurses positively influence nursing practice due to the higher level of critical thinking, leadership expertise, and leadership skills from the master’s-prepared nurses (Clark, et al., 2015, p. 333). Every nurse’s goal is to improve patient outcomes and delivery of care in the healthcare system, and this evidence suggests that master’s-prepared nurses are top performers amongst their nurse colleagues in these categories.
- According to a concept analysis study, nurse competencies can be categorized into three different theories including behaviorism, trait theory, and holism (Fukada, 2018). Behaviorism includes performance of individual core skills, trait theory considers the competencies required to complete specific tasks, such as critical thinking skills, and holism views competency as a cluster of elements (Fukada, 2018). I believe that holism is the most essential professional competency for a master’s-prepared nurse practicing in the twenty-first century. Furthermore, holism requires applying skills, attitudes, knowledge and critical thinking to unique situations (Fakuda, 2018). I believe that holism is the most essential competency because approaching patient situations with a holistic perspective is what makes nurses unique amongst other providers in the interdisciplinary team. Nurses are specially trained to look at the patient as a whole human, not just for his or her medical diagnoses.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. https://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/Publications/MastersEssentials11.pdfLinks to an external site.
Clark, L., Casey, D., & Morris, S. (2015). The value of master’s degrees for registered nursesLinks to an external siteLinks to an external site.. British Journal of Nursing, 24(6), 328-334. https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/10.12968/bjon.2015.24.6.328Links to an external site.
Fukada M. (2018)
As you traverse through the process of earning a graduate degree, have you identified a nurse mentor? According to Jean, a nurse mentor is one that can help with reflection in practice (2021). They are also reliable, encouraging, and trustworthy (Jean, 2021). If you do not have a mentor, how would you identify a person to function in this role?
Jean, J. (2021). The importance of mentorship in nursing. Nurse Journal. Retrieved https://nursejournal.org/resources/the-importance-of-mentorship-in-nursing/
I have identified a few different nurse mentors who practice beside me. Some of these mentors are nurse practitioners and others are experienced staff nurses. I rely on these nurses to encourage me as I trust them. This encouragement includes emotional support during difficult situations and teaching me something new when necessary. I do agree that nurse mentors are important in all aspects of practice, especially during reflection as a nurse practitioner student.
Thank you for your response,
I enjoyed reading your post. I agree that the level of formal education and the clinical field differentiate MSN nurses from BSN nurses. I have learned that MSN-prepared nurses have a higher level of autonomy in practice than BSN nurses, which can be attributed to the differences in the scope of practice. Indeed, the increased involvement of MSN-prepared nurses has led to improved delivery of care and patient outcomes (Padilha et al., 2020). Thus, it is crucial to train more MSN nurses, and this evidence should encourage healthcare organizations to increase the employment of MSN nurses due to their specialized knowledge and skills to improve healthcare delivery.
Master’s in nursing programs prepares graduates to optimize safe, quality care delivery to diverse populations in various healthcare settings and roles. The MSN nurse practicing in any setting or role must demonstrate insight into the foundations of care and the art and science of nursing practice in relation to individuals, families, and clinical populations (Shatto et al., 2019).
I have learned that the MSN degree prepares nurses to carry out comprehensive and systematic assessments, which act as the basis for decision-making. MSN nurses are valuable to clinical practice since they are trained to apply the best available evidence from nursing and other sciences as the basis for practice. In addition, MSN-nurse uses their advocacy skills to advocate for patients, families, caregivers, communities, and other healthcare professionals (Padilha et al., 2020). The MSN nurse is equipped with informatics skills and thus uses information and communication technologies to improve patient education and accessibility of care, analyze practice patterns and enhance healthcare outcomes.
Padilha, M. I., Maliska, I. A., Costa, R., Benedet, S. A., Gelbcke, F. L., & Anders, J. C. (2020). Professional master program: Preparing the nurse of the future. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem, 73(suppl 5), e20200007. https://doi.org/10.1590/0034-7167-2020-0007 Shatto, B., L’Ecuyer, K., Meyer, G., Shagavah, A., & Mooney, E. (2019). Experiences of master’s prepared clinical nurse leaders at three years post-graduation. Journal of Professional Nursing, 35(1), 51–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2018.06.001
You used a lot of good points in your discussion post. I enjoyed reading it. I think regardless of the differences caused by these two levels of education, nurses with either qualification can collaborate in any case to achieve better patient outcomes. The diversity of knowledge in nursing practice makes it essential for nurses to learn from each other and collaborate in decision-making. The increased push for advanced learning for nurses in many states summarizes the value of a master’s degree in modern nursing practice.
What is the value of master’s degree in nursing? The perception of the value of a master’s degree in nursing is specific to the individual and is very multi-faceted. To many, the greatest value of acquiring your master’s degree is encompassed by the difference in autonomy and the individual’s ability to manage their patients care. In 22 states in the United States nurse practitioners are able to oversee care, asses, order, and prescribe without being under the supervision of a physician of a physician (Owens, 2018). Nurse Practitioners can use the knowledge that they gained earlier in their nursing career as undergraduate members of a healthcare team to develop comprehensive plans of care for patients. This knowledge can be used in conjunction with the in-depth understanding of pathophysiology, assessment, and pharmacology that comes with the education provided with the advanced degree.
Another way an individual may find value in a master’s degree in nursing is by the increasing access to medical care to underserved communities. Without the nurse practitioners that serve rural communities to help, the shortage of primary care physicians would leave many people without access to routine medical care. The rural county I was raised in has one primary care physician and 2 family nurse practitioners and another clinic that’s ran bye only nurse practitioner and they have 4 nurse practitioners total that serve the community. Without the master’s trained family nurse practitioners within the area, almost two-thirds of people would have to drive over 45 minutes to the closet city to seek the guidance and treatment of a primary care provider. Nurse practitioners can oversee chronic and acute medical conditions, prescribe routine medications, complete and review routine labs, provide preventative care, and wellness checks in a timely and affordable manner making them critical for public health in rural areas (2018).
Owens, R.A. (2018). Transition Experiences of New Rural Nurse Practitioners, Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 14(8), 605-612, https://doi-org.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/10.1016/j,nurpra.2018.05.009
You bring up great points. We will explore the scope of the ANP for your state in the coming weeks a bit more. You provided a thorough discussion related to the value of a master’s degree. According to the AACN, of the 3.8 nurses in the workforce, only 17.1% has a master’s degree (2019).
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