Since the early days of nursing in the Civil War, this career path has evolved in dozens of ways. Nursing is now an entire department in and of itself, not simply a support position for physicians. This growth means that Louisiana hospitals and clinics are turning to nurse leaders to monitor nursing staff, set practical goals, and improve patient outcomes.
Many facilities are starting to realize the potential benefits of Clinical Nurse Leaders. Lafayette General Medical Center has developed a nurse residency program that is designed for newly graduated nurses (The Advocate, 2015). This pairs new nurses with nurse leaders, who fill the role of guide and mentor.
Although Louisiana is starting to recover from its nursing shortage, executives still worry about the ongoing effects (Business Report, 2015). New nurses have extensive training needs, so hospitals rely on graduate-level nurses to fill these roles.
Ready to find out how your experience as an RN can improve Louisiana nursing? Find out if a nurse leadership graduate program in Louisiana is the right choice for your future.
Clinical nurse leadership graduate programs are offered at colleges and universities throughout Louisiana. Before selecting a program, ensure that you choose an AACN-approved graduate program if you plan on seeking certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader.
Over a period of approximately two years, you earn 33 or more credits to become a nurse leader. Nursing experience is a requirement for many programs, so course schedules are often developed for the convenience of working nurses. Consider a hybrid or online program if you plan on working full-time while in school.
Clinical experience and fieldwork differ quite a bit from school to school. While some schools require over 1000 hours of fieldwork, other schools allow you to complete your education completely online. Keep in mind that work experience may give you insight into potential job openings after graduation and help you make connections with other nurse leaders.
Even if you do not plan on working while in school, you have to keep a nursing license through the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. Continuing education requirements are based on how many hours you work as a nurse during the year. Full-time nurses only have to complete five hours of continuing education per year. License renewal is required by the last day of the year and every odd-numbered year.
If you graduate from an approved school, you may become licensed as a Clinical Nurse Leader after earning a Master's degree. You can register to take the licensing exam through the AACN. Each renewal cycle is five years.
During this time, you must complete 50 hours of continuing education.
Sample courses for nurse leadership programs:
- Health Care Management for Nurses
- Population-Based Outcomes
- Human Resources in Health care Organizations
- Organizational Behavior in Nursing
- Quality and Patient Safety
- Evidence-Based Practice
- Health Policy and Politics
Learning goals and outcomes:
- Build advanced leadership skills in nursing and health care
- Understand economics of health care services
- Improve quality and patient safety
- Prepare for organizational and individual emergencies
- Manage risk management and health care law
As a registered nurse, you have undoubtedly noticed incidents of substandard care, procedures that are not up-to-date with current evidence, and personnel difficulties in your nursing team. When you take on a Clinical Nurse Leader role, you have the chance to address these issues in your facility. In doing so, you benefit your patients, the nurses you work with, and the entire nursing community of Louisiana.
One of the most essential components of nurse leadership is accountability. When you oversee a team of nurses or direct a patient's care, you are the person who is ultimately accountable for the outcome. Because of this, you should be ready to spend a fair amount of time working directly with patients, providing feedback to nurses, and adjusting care techniques based on patient and care provider input.
In addition, the work you do should strengthen the nursing industry. Building a professional network of nurse leaders may give you an overview of the long-term goals of this field. You can touch base with other professionals and attend local events by joining the Louisiana Organization for Nurse Executives.
With your leadership, you can inspire future generations of nurses. Get started by contacting Master's in nurse leadership programs in Louisiana below.