When you look at the large state of Florida, you quickly see how imperative good health care is. Florida is home to one of the country’s fastest growing aging populations, a demographic that requires frequent and specialized care. Furthermore, Florida has millions of tourists that may need emergent or urgent care when visiting. Studying to become a nurse leader means understanding the needs of all of these patients.
Working as a nurse leader means taking on challenging roles in a variety of health care settings. A growing demand for nurse leaders is being found in Florida prisons (News Press, 2015). After losing a contract with its prior care provider, the prison system of Florida is relying on experienced nurses who are sensitive to the care needs of captive patients and able to work safely in this setting.
Throughout Florida, the overall demand for nurses is skyrocketing (Naples News, 2015). Taking on a leadership role allows you to oversee the work of new nurses, serve as a mentor to newly licensed nurses, and recruit strong nursing staff members to your facility.
Earning a graduate degree in nurse leadership is one way to expand your scope of practice and address the growing needs of this industry. Check out different education options by contacting clinical nurse leadership graduate programs in Florida.
To effectively serve as a nurse leader in any health care setting, you have to be highly trained and educated in various aspects of health care. The courses listed below help you develop your leadership abilities while helping you meet your required 32 credit hours:
- Theoretical Constructs for Nursing Sciences
- Clinical Leadership and Management
- Effecting Change in Health Quality and Safety
- Health Policy, Politics, and Power
- Health Promotion and Planning
- Methods of Research
You may find that many clinical nurse leadership graduate programs are offered online. This is due to the fact that many nursing students at this level maintain full-time employment while earning a Master's degree. However, be ready to meet the clinical and practicum requirements of your degree program at a local hospital, clinic, or nursing home.
Studying nurse leadership and working as a nurse leader requires you to keep a valid nursing license. The Florida Board of Nursing mandates license renewal on a biannual basis. The date by which you must renew your license is decided by which licensing group you are part of. During each two-year cycle, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education.
Clinical Nurse Leader licensure is overseen by the AACN, which requires a passing score on the CNL exam. Licenses are renewed every five years, during which time you must earn 50 hours of continuing education.
The more time you spend in a clinical nurse leadership graduate program, the more you will come to understand the multifaceted nature of this credential. While the title Clinical Nurse Leader may make it sound as if management is your main job, this credential is first and foremost a clinical one.
This means that you should still spend the majority of your work hours working with patients. The AACN notes that nurse leaders must design, coordinate, and evaluate the care provided to patients. There is also a research aspect to this specialty, since you must be able to analyze data and make policy decisions based on the data you collect. Clinical Nurse Leaders are accountable for the care process and take necessary steps to improve outcomes.
Becoming active in a group like the Florida Organization of Nurse Executives allows you to become involved with legislative matters, understand finance issues in nurse leadership, continue your education, and contribute to the growing body of nursing research.
Many other health care programs and associations understand the importance of nurse leadership. The FHCA Nurse Leadership Program is an annual event that takes place in Florida every summer. In addition to providing continuing education hours, it encourages the development of new nurse leaders and emphasizes the importance of ongoing training and education in the specialty.
If you feel like you would make a strong leader, do not underestimate the influence you could have on the nursing industry of Florida. If you want to be a role model for Florida nursing professionals and improve outcomes for patients, request information from nursing leadership graduate programs in Florida.