A cruise ship nurse’s job is probably the most exciting nursing job you can hope for, unless you’re the type that suffers from acute seasickness. Registered nurses are eligible to work on cruise ships. However; as with nursing jobs on terra firma, an MSN degree adds weight to your CV, increases your chances of getting a job with a renowned shipping company, visit the more exotic locales, manage a team, get paid more, and shift jobs with greater ease.

A cruise ship nurse has to manage more than just upset stomachs and sensitive skins. In fact, most cruise liners have a minimum work experience requirement that can vary between three to ten years. Nurses with experience in intensive care and critical care units stand a better chance at getting selected and this is where an MSN degree comes in handy if you’re planning to work as a cruise ship nurse.

You need to have good ambulatory care skills and be able to think on your feet. If a situation arises away from shore you should be able to take charge and work in tandem with the doctor aboard ship and often you may be required to manage an emergency alone.

As far as pay is concerned, you may not necessarily earn more than your land-based counterparts but the savings are a help. You can safely put away your salary check in the bank; all your expenses are taken care of while you’re onboard ship. Add to this the fact that most cruise liners will give employees a two-month off for every six months of continuous work and you can see that there are some real monetary benefits to working as a nurse on a cruise liner.

A cruise ship nurse with an MSN degree and experienced in critical care nursing could earn a salary of $70K and more, on par with what a nurse practitioner would earn.