You've earned your degree in nursing, you've spent some time gaining experience in the nursing field and building up a strong reputation, and now you’re ready to go further. Does this sound like you? If so, you may want to explore your options for graduate nursing school in Connecticut.
Becoming a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and choosing to focus your nursing education on an area of study that interests you, you can broaden your scope of practice and take on more responsibility in patient care. Contact the Connecticut CNS programs listed below to learn more.
The Society for Clinical Nurse Specialist Education notes that clinical nurse specialists fall into the same practice category as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists. However, rather than focusing solely on patient care, clinical nurse specialists also conduct and study nursing research, consult with medical professionals on changes in standards, and educate medical professionals on nursing topics.
It’s clear that clinical nurse specialists fulfill many roles in the field of nursing. If you're ready to explore your options in different specialties, get started now. Contact clinical nurse specialist programs in Connecticut and find out which schools serve students in your area.
Clinical nurse specialists are graduate-level nursing professionals, so you must complete a master’s degree in nursing before you are eligible for licensure or certification in this field. Almost all CNS programs require a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, although some programs combine BSN-level courses into their MSN programs for accelerated students.
You should plan on spending at least three semesters in school as a full-time student to prepare for this career. Some programs require you to attend classes year-round to graduate more quickly and keep your skills fresh. When you start out as a new CNS student, you and your cohort may take courses like Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice, Nursing Research and Theory, Advanced Assessment and Clinical Reasoning, Management of Health Organizations, and Health Policy.
High-level classes that may be part of your education include Advanced Clinical Practice for Clinical Nurse Specialists, Human Responses to Acute and Chronic Illness, and Clinical Skills & Critical Decision Making.
Much of your time as a CNS student can take place in local health care settings. By the time you complete your three to six semesters in a Master’s degree program, you may have well over 500 clinical hours under your belt.
Getting familiar with scholarship offerings in Connecticut can help you save a considerably amount of money on your education. The Connecticut Nurses’ Foundation is one local organization with a bevy of scholarship options. You may also find several opportunities through the Connecticut Student Nurses’ Association. If you join the Connecticut League for Nursing, you may be able to consider several different grant and scholarship programs throughout the state.
CNN expects to see a bright future for clinical nurse specialists for several years to come. By their estimates, job openings for clinical nurse specialists may jump by 26 percent between 2012 and 2022. They report that the national average salary for a CNS is $86,500 per year (CNN, 2012). This is expected to lead to thousands of new Clinical Nurse Specialist jobs every year.
The ANCC Certification Center is responsible for the national certification of clinical nurse specialists in all specialties, so you may want to register to take their exam when you are close to finishing your degree. At that point, you can apply for an advanced practice license through the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing.
The field of nursing is multifaceted and diverse. It runs on the skills and abilities of many types of nursing professionals. Find out how much of a difference you can make by contacting clinical nurse specialist programs in Connecticut now.