It’s no secret that nurses are some of the most important health care providers in the entire medical industry. With your dedication to patient satisfaction, your extensive knowledge of health care procedures and conditions, and your ability to work quickly in stressful situations, as a nurse, you can improve health care outcomes without significant financial stress on an institution.
If you're confident in your nursing skills and ready to explore your career options, learn more about clinical nurse specialist programs in Arkansas by contacting the schools listed below.
Becoming a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) may be a good decision for you if you want to work in a specialty area of nursing. Clinical nurse specialists may work in a diverse array of fields, from gerontology and pediatrics to oncology and acute care. If you have gained good experience as a nurse, you likely know which settings and specialties you thrive in. Use this experience to figure out which nursing specialty is best for you long-term.
As you work toward master’s degree in nursing that permits you to work as a CNS, you may address many complex learning goals set forth by your educational institution. By the time you graduate, your school may want you to know how to develop and implement wellness programs, use your nursing knowledge in complex patient cases, work as part of a multidisciplinary nursing team, serve as a leader to other nursing professionals, and utilize nursing research to understand evidence-based care.
To meet these extensive learning goals, you can plan on completing about 40 credits of coursework in an accredited CNS program. If you are a full-time student, you may graduate in as little as one or two years. Some of the courses you may begin your education with include Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice, Nursing Research and Theory, Health Policy, and Advanced Assessment & Clinical Reasoning. Later courses in your curriculum may include Clinical Skills & Critical Decision Making, Human Responses to Acute and Chronic Pain, and Advanced Practice Clinical.
During clinical courses, you may work with your target population in a variety of settings, keeping in mind that most CNSs are employed in hospitals. Programs in Arkansas tend to include 500 or more hours of clinical experience. Contacting schools directly to obtain program details is a great way to learn more about requirements for becoming a CNS in Arkansas.
Once you have been accepted to a CNS program in your area, you can officially begin applying for financial aid as a graduate-level nursing student. You may qualify for many types of financial aid. Consider applying for scholarships through the Arkansas Nurses Foundation or the Arkansas Community Foundation. Many local employers award scholarships to promising nursing students, including Conway Regional.
The demand for clinical nurse specialists is growing quickly all over the country, so this may be the perfect time to further your education with a master’s degree. For many nurses, this career path leads to an increase in earning potential. CNN reports that the average salary for a clinical nurse specialist is $86,500 per year. They expect to see CNS jobs increase by 26 percent through 2022.
There is a separate level of licensure for clinical nurse specialists. Though you must keep your registered nursing license valid throughout the duration of your master’s degree program, you must also get an advanced practice license when you graduate with your master’s degree. First, you can obtain your certification through the ANCC Certification Center. You can use this certification to apply for an advanced practice license via the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
As a clinical nurse specialist, you can influence the field of nursing, serve patients in an expanded role, and use your knowledge to guide other nursing professionals. Learn more about your options by contacting certified nurse specialist programs in Arkansas directly from our site.