Graduate degrees improve nurse earnings, advancement

Nursing students don't need advanced degrees to get good jobs. But a master's degree might help, according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2012 the median pay for nursing jobs requiring only an associate or bachelor's degree or a diploma from an approved program was $65,470, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earn a master's degree and that median can jump up $20,000 or more. Students usually train for one of four specialties at the master's level--nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist or certified nurse midwife. Nurse practitioner is the most popular, with 113,370 employed as of May 2013. Article