Obtaining an MSN degree, or a Master of Science in Nursing, is a relevant prospect, and given career goals and skills honing, this step is an essential component of professional development. According to Massimi et al. (2017), while taking into account the specifics of preparation of MSN students, this level can be considered a complete academic education, although higher degrees follow. The coverage of knowledge and attainments acquired at this stage is sufficient to conduct credible nursing practice. Therefore, the goals of the student receiving education at this level should cover all the nuances of a specialty area and go in the direction that the preceptor defines.
One of the main goals to pursue within the framework of the MSN program under consideration is to strictly follow the curriculum and complete all the necessary tasks timely. As Koomey (2018) argues, increasing the number of MSN nurses among graduate students is the goal of the national medical education system. However, to realize individual academic ambitions, this is essential to take into account other criteria as well. Koomey (2018) highlights that grade points average, being one of the factors in obtaining an MSN degree, should be taken into account, but this parameter, in turn, does not allow for full recognition because additional performance indicators also shape the perception of the student. Therefore, learning goals at this level assume the alignment of all required objectives, be they performance criteria or GRE scores.
Another significant goal is to hone the professional nursing skills that are required for credible MSN practice. Flanders et al. (2018) note that already by the initial stages of education, nurses should have knowledge in the field of critical thinking and clinical reasoning as essential aspects of reliable and objective work. Completing the MSN program requires the constant replenishment of theoretical background and understanding of the range of nursing concepts and techniques that may be needed during professional practice. In this regard, approaches to learning should also be variable and may include not only basic training sessions but also self-education as a significant element of preparation.
Doing evidence-based work, applying appropriate communication strategies, and other professional activities reflect good academic background. Therefore, within the framework of this MSN program, the acquisition of the necessary theoretical knowledge is valuable as a factor complementing the current practical experience.
The learning setting during the program involves close interaction with a preceptor who is an MSN professor of nursing education. One of the important conditions for successful education is constant counseling. Riccio and Bloch (2019) note that research practice is a prerequisite for learning at this level. In this regard, to draw up a work plan for writing a final dissertation, the preceptor’s recommendations need to be obtained to identify the desired field of study and compile a plan for future activities. To receive positive feedback on the work done, the student should demonstrate high skills in working with academic materials and apply current nursing concepts and methodologies.
The preceptor can act as a supervisor and keep track of the research process, making timely recommendations and pointing out potential errors or deficiencies. Any independent work should be supervised, and the goal of such cooperation is to adopt the experience and knowledge of the senior colleague who is not a tutor but rather a counselor who can guide the academic process and provide professional support.
To complete all the stages of the program successfully, this is crucial to study the topics that include not only the principles of providing care to the population but also other aspects of nursing practice. For instance, with the help of the preceptor, the student will learn the basics of nursing leadership, health advocacy, healthcare technologies, and other elements that form the comprehensive practice of MSN professionals (Jones et al., 2021). Another important stage of learning is working with national health policies. The ability to highlight the necessary provisions and requirements related to the immediate professional activities is mandatory for obtaining an MSN degree, and the preceptor can recommend the necessary online resources.
As Jones et al. (2021) note, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, this may be difficult to maintain constant open communication with many participants in the educational process due to social constraints. Nevertheless, the student’s task involves interacting remotely interaction through modern media platforms and the use of channels to search for the necessary information online. In such conditions, the risk of a knowledge gap is minimized, and all basic forms of learning are preserved, including research activities.
The offered conditions of education for obtaining an MSN degree correspond to the national healthcare standards that prescribe the comprehensive training of specialists. Learning objectives covering a wide range of professional requirements shape the backbone of the curriculum. The role of the preceptor is crucial in view of the need to consult and learn from a senior colleague. Obtaining an MSN degree is an important outcome that confirms the student’s qualifications and opens up opportunities for gaining the necessary certificates and licenses.
Flanders, S. A., Gunn, S., Wheeler, M., Newsome, E., & Klein, H. A. (2017). Accelerating the development of higher-level clinical thinking in novice nurses. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 33(5), 240-246. Web.
Jones, K., Hein, L. C., & James, L. (2021). A nursing leadership practicum in the time of COVID19: A Southeastern University experience. Nurse Leader, 19(2), 145-149. Web.
Koomey, C. L. (2018). Predicting academic success of MSN students [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The University of Texas.
Massimi, A., Marzuillo, C., Di Muzio, M., Vacchio, M. R., 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, 54-60. Web.
Riccio, P. A., & Bloch, J. R. (2019). MSN perceptions of practice-based problems and research-based interventions. Journal of Professional Nursing, 35(6), 499-504. Web.