A master’s in nursing is a great way to prepare for a career. However, it’s essential to know that graduating with your master’s doesn’t mean you’re done with school. Many nurses earn their doctorate (aka Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP) or FNP to DNP online after completing their master’s program. Here are five steps to take after completing your master’s in nursing so you can start pursuing your doctorate.

Choose a Specialty

Once you have completed your master’s program, the next step is choosing a specialty. The most important thing to consider when making this decision is that it should be something you are passionate about. It will help ensure that you stay motivated throughout your career and in the field from which you graduated.

It would be best if you also chose a specialty in demand. It can help ensure that there are jobs available for newly-graduated nurses and those seeking employment after being out of practice for some time (i.e., following maternity leave).

Additionally, consider how each specialty could allow nurses to work with patients across age groups and life stages. It will increase their chances of finding employment later when they want to change or expand their role within their organization.

Decide on a Location

You may have heard the saying, “Location, location, location!” The saying is especially appropriate when choosing where you want to settle down after completing your master’s in nursing. It would be best to consider all the factors that go into choosing a place to live and how long you plan on staying there before making a final decision.

If possible, try living in different cities at different times to get an idea of what it would be like living in each one. For example, if you can afford it, try to live in San Francisco for a few months, New York City for a few months, and Austin for a few more months. This way, you can get the best of all worlds and learn about each city without making any permanent commitments until later down the road when you can better determine where your life will take you next.

Apply to a Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Suppose you’re interested in a career as a nurse practitioner or want to work in an advanced practice role while continuing your education. In that case, you should consider applying to a Doctor of Nursing Practice program or FNP to DNP online course.

The requirements for application vary depending on the program and school you select. Some programs require applicants to earn a master’s degree in nursing with at least two years of full-time experience; others require only an associate’s degree with no prior experience.

Regardless of the requirements for your particular DNP program, you must prepare well ahead of time by gathering all documentation needed for admission and completing all required coursework. It will help ensure that everything goes smoothly when it comes time to apply and that you can quickly answer any questions asked during the application process.

Prepare for the Job Search

As you look for a job, don’t forget to build your network. People already working in the field are the best resources for finding out about open positions, and they can also be excellent sources of advice and mentorship. The more connections you have, the easier it will be when it comes time to apply for jobs and interviews.

When preparing for a job search, you must take care of your resume and interview skills. You have already put in years of hard work as an RN student; now is not the time to slack off on these crucial areas. A strong resume is one of the essential tools in landing interviews, and once there, you’ll need good presentation skills so potential employers will notice all that effort behind being thorough on paper.

Seek Mentors

You’re now ready to take the next step in your career. You want to move from being a student nurse to a graduate nurse, but there is still so much to learn.

Fortunately, you have mentors who can help you navigate this transition and make it easy. They can help you develop a resume, write cover letters, answer tricky questions about your experience and even find jobs for which you are qualified.

Mentors can also be an invaluable source of support during this time of transition! Someone who has already gone through it all before — from applying for internships (or even jobs) until graduation — knows exactly what advice will be most beneficial for their students because they’ve been there themselves.


Taking a master’s in nursing is a big commitment, but it’s also an investment in your future. The more you know about what to expect before and after the program, the better prepared you’ll be for everything that comes with completing it.

You’ve decided whether or not taking a master’s degree in nursing is right for you and now that it is over, take some time to celebrate. Remember these five essential steps, so your journey continues smoothly as a nursing professional.