As a nursing professional, you’re already well aware of the importance of strong leadership in the health care industry. Doctors are no longer considered the natural supervisors for Delaware nurses. They have full schedules that don’t typically allow for management or supervision duties. As a result, an increasing number of Delaware facilities are embracing the experience and education of Clinical Nurse Leaders.
You may find that becoming a nurse leader in Delaware gives you the chance to work in many different settings and nursing specialties. As specialty care becomes more and more important with the Affordable Care Act, the need for highly trained care providers with experience in specialized care settings may continue to grow.
Consider the Delaware Hospital for Chronically Ill (Delaware Public Media, 2015). This hospital, which is relatively new to Delaware, received the highest federal rating possible in 2015. As a nurse leader in a Delaware facility, you can build connections between departments, encourage the growth and education of nurses at different levels, and develop care standards for your facility.
The field of nursing will likely continue to grow as the years pass, which means that institutions’ demand for experienced leaders may not go away. Discover what it's like to work in this industry and how you can earn a Master's in nurse leadership in Delaware.
There are several different types of programs that prepare you to work as a nurse leader in Delaware. Look for programs like executive nurse leadership, clinical nurse leadership, and nurse management. If you want to become a Clinical Nurse Leader after graduation, make sure you choose a program that is accepted by the AACN for licensure.
You may evaluate different education options by comparing the courses required in each program. The following courses are found in an executive nurse leadership program:
- Nursing Leadership for Advanced Practice
- Statistical Analysis and Interpretation
- Healthcare Environment: Technology and Health Policy
- Using Research for Evidence-Based Practice
- Developing Management Skills
- Systems Health Leadership
- Organizational Leadership in Healthcare
On average, Delaware nurse management programs require 39 credits. Many of the courses you take may be hybrid courses, which means that they involve some online work and some clinical or practical work. This course format is intended to allow nurses to continue working while earning a Master's degree.
Practical experience courses and schedules are decided by each school. Choosing a program that offers clinical rotations and internships may give you the most networking opportunities and put you in a position where you feel confident about taking on a nurse leadership role.
Throughout your education and your career, you must keep renewing your registered nursing license through the Delaware Board of Nursing. Renewal applications are due by September 30 in odd-numbered years. During each two-year cycle, you must complete 30 continuing education credits, three of which must focus on substance abuse.
You can obtain your CNL license through the AACN. You qualify for licensure after passing the three-hour licensing exam. You can then maintain your license by completing 50 continuing education credits every five years and renewing your license every five years.
The instructors at your college or university should have extensive experience in nurse leadership and management, so you can use their instruction and experience to develop an understanding of the responsibilities you'll take on in your career. This is another area where an internship or clinical rotation can prepare you for the realities of working in nurse leadership.
Getting involved in local nursing organizations is one way to connect with other nurse leaders and learn about the statewide goals for nursing administration. There are groups like the Delaware Nurses Association and the Delaware Student Nurses Association. However, you should also look into joining a more specialized group like the Delaware Organization of Nurse Leaders. This organization focuses on advocacy and policy, developing the nursing workforce, providing ongoing education opportunities, addressing professional practice issues, and encouraging the improvement of this field through high education standards.
Throughout your career, you may fill slightly different roles with your Master's degree. Completing your clinical rotations at different institutions may give you some insight as to how health facilities utilize nurse leaders and what they expect.
The infrastructure of the nursing industry is dependent on those who are willing to further their education and give back to the field. Get in touch with advisors at nurse leadership graduate programs in Delaware to talk about your educational path.