Why did you originally start a career in the field of nursing? Did you want to save lives, help doctors work more efficiently, or enjoy a career with flexible hours and specialties? No matter what led you to a nursing career, you may be able to expand your scope of practice and do even more of what you love with a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) degree.
Contact the nursing schools in California that offer CNS programs today to learn more about how to get started.
Clinical nurse specialists in California see patients across different specialties, including oncology, pediatrics, acute care, chronic care, and gerontology.
When you become a clinical nurse specialist, you may develop the advanced knowledge you need to help with complex medical issues. For example, nursing research indicates that clinical nurse specialists are very effective at helping young adults who are suffering from cancer. By looking through the different specialties that a CNS can work in, you can figure out where your skills and long-term goals lie.
If you’re invested in your nursing career and ready to move forward, learn more about clinical nurse specialist programs in California by contact schools today.
Before you can begin working as a clinical nurse specialist, you have to meet the stringent educational and licensing requirements of this career path. To qualify for admission to a CNS master’s program, you must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Ideally, you should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Some schools even require a GPA of 3.5 or higher. In California, the vast majority of schools require you to have at least one full year of nursing experience.
As an advanced nursing student, you may take a wide range of courses that make you a more competent, independent, and specially-trained nursing professional. Your curriculum may start with core courses like Applications of Research in Nursing, Context of Health Care for Advanced Practice Nursing, Reasoning in Nursing Research, and Advanced Pathophysiology in Nursing.
Other courses that may be part of your curriculum include Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Human and Family Development Through the Lifespan, Advanced Health Assessment and Measurement, and Clinical Pharmacology. Each semester, you’ll likely have to complete a set amount of clinical hours. By the time you graduate with your Master’s degree, you should have accumulated over 500 hours of clinical work. Your instructors may have you take on more and more responsibility as you complete more courses and get closer to the end of your program.
You may be in a great position to apply for several different types of financial aid as an advanced nursing student. The National Health Service Corps awards scholarships to graduates who agree to work in a Health Professional Shortage Area after graduation. Scholarships are also awarded every year by the California Nursing Students’ Association. On a statewide level, you can apply for scholarships through the California Board of Registered Nursing.
After you finish your clinical nurse specialist degree, it’s time to get certified and licensed to expand your scope of practice. Certification on a national level goes through the ANCC Certification Center. You need to complete a comprehensive exam that is specifically tailored to your area of specialty as a CNS. To be able to practice in the state of California, you need an advanced practice license from the California Board of Registered Nursing.
Like many other positions in the field of nursing, clinical nurse specialists may see a significant increase in job openings in years to come. Through 2022, CNN anticipates a 26 percent increase in CNS job openings. Across the nation, the average salary for a CNS is $86,500 per year.
Take the next step in your nursing career today. Check out our school listings and contact certified nurse specialist programs in California to learn more.