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A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an advanced-level postgraduate degree for registered nurses and is considered an entry-level degree for nurse educators and managers. The degree also may prepare a nurse to seek a career as a nurse administrator, health policy expert, or clinical nurse leader. The MSN may be used as a prerequisite for doctorate-level nursing education, and previously was required to become an advanced practice registered nurse such as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, or nurse midwife. The master's level advanced practice registered nurse programs have already, or are in the process of, transitioning to the requirements of the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
This graduate-level degree may focus in one or more of many different advanced nursing specialties such as acute care, adult, family, geriatrics, neonatal, palliative care, pediatric, psychiatric, obstetrics and gynecological nursing, etc.