A master's degree in nursing, or MSN, provides the instruction necessary to assume advanced roles in the health care industry, including those of nurse practitioners, certified clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists, certified clinical nurse specialists and nurse educators. Graduates of nursing programs work in settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, clinics, schools and patients' homes. Advanced nursing positions, such as those of educators, researchers, and administrators, require a doctoral degree, either a PhD, or a DNP. Students who pursue this degree are typically required to complete both classroom and clinical work. Full-time programs consist of 18 to 24 months of study on average.