When you work as a registered nurse, do you find yourself naturally taking on a leadership role? Do other nurses listen to your intuition and turn to you for guidance when seconds count?
If you would like to build on your inherent leadership abilities and take on a more expansive role in patient care, you may be a great fit for a nurse leader position.
The nursing community in Idaho, in many ways, is stronger than it has ever been. A national study recently ranked Idaho as the best state to be a nurse (Local News 8, 2015). Idaho earned this ranking because of its salary range, job openings, and job growth opportunities. State experts note that this is great news for the nursing community of Idaho, but reports that the state still needs experienced nurses who are willing to take on leadership responsibilities and oversee industrywide change.
Just a few years ago, Idaho had one of the worst nursing shortages in the country. This shortage has been largely resolved throughout the state (Idaho Statesman, 2015). However, this means that facilities all over Idaho are primarily staffed by new and inexperienced nurses. Administrators and executives claim a growing need for experienced nurse leaders who are willing to lead new nurses and oversee complex care needs.
Leadership is one of the most in-demand ways to use your nursing experience and knowledge.
Find out which program is a good fit for you with our list of clinical nurse leader graduate programs in Idaho.
In many ways, nurse leadership graduate programs are similar to other nursing Master’s degrees in Idaho. On average, you must earn 36 credits. This can generally be completed in two calendar years. Since this career requires you to be accountable for your work and the work of other nurses, you may have to meet strict admissions standards to be accepted. Idaho schools often require a certain amount of nursing experience and a history of strong academic performance at the undergraduate level.
Once you are accepted to the program of your choice, you may start exploring the curriculum of your chosen school. This curriculum should give you plenty of experience in research, advanced patient care, management and leadership, and health outcomes.
These goals may be met with the following courses:
- Research for Graduate Nursing
- Population Health and Interprofessional Collaboration
- Advanced Health Assessment
- vidence-Based Practice for Graduate Nursing
- Nursing Leadership Internship
- Organization Leadership for Improving Health Outcomes
- Leadership Perspectives for Advancing the Profession of Nursing
Many graduate programs in nursing leadership require clinical work. This means that you must keep your registered nursing license valid at all times. Since this is a clinical career, you must also maintain your registered nursing license throughout your career. The Idaho Nursing Board requires renewal by August 31 every other year.
Completing your education and providing proof of your RN license may allow you to get your Clinical Nurse Leader license through the AACN. They administer a three-hour nurse leadership exam. Once you have your license, you have officially earned the title of Clinical Nurse Leader. Every five years, you must complete 50 hours of continuing education and renew your license.
One benefit of taking on a leadership role in health care is the fact that you get to explore different responsibilities and aspects of care every day. The AACN notes that clinical care is the single largest part of this credential, so you can look forward to spending most of your time working with patients and doing administrative work for their benefit.
However, rather than working as part of a registered nursing team, you may be a team leader and direct patient care. Patient care plans are typically the responsibility of a CNL. Succeeding in this role requires a comprehensive understanding of evidence-based care, the ability to adjust policies and standards based on evidence, and leadership skills.
Getting involved in the local nursing leadership community is a great way to learn more about what it means to work in this field. The Nurse Leaders of Idaho is an organization that works closely with the Nursing Action Coalition to support nursing legislation, address concerns within the nursing community, and improve the field as a whole.
Nurse leaders become a more important part of patient care every year. If you are ready for the next challenge in your nursing career, request information from Idaho nurse leadership graduate programs today.