Health care is important in all parts of the United States, but it has particular importance in Illinois. As one of the most densely-populated Midwestern states, Illinois has medical needs that simply aren’t present in other states. To improve patient outcomes and ensure that residents have access to affordable and timely care, many organizations and employers are changing up their hiring strategies and trying to save money.
What does this mean? If you’re ready to take on an advanced nursing role, you may be able to enjoy an expanded scope of practice and serve in a variety of settings in Illinois.
Contact the schools with CNS programs in Illinois to get program details, which can help you make an informed decision about how to expand your nursing education.
Whether you’re interested in leadership, clinical care, or research, becoming a clinical nurse specialist may be the right move for your career. Clinical nurse researchers are taking on a growing role in the medical field by helping nursing professionals use the latest evidence-based standards in their work. If you want to learn more about becoming a CNS, keep reading to learn more about clinical nurse specialist programs in Illinois.
Clinical nurse specialists have a broad knowledge of nursing standards and patient care, but they do focus on one particular patient group or health care need. As a result, you may want to spend some time looking at options near you and deciding which choice best suits your career.
When you enroll in a CNS program, you should plan on spending at least two years in school as a full-time graduate student. This program, which encompasses 30 to 40 credits, requires you to complete coursework in advanced patient care, research and ethics, leadership, and other aspects of nursing. As is the case with any program that prepares you for clinical practice, clinical nurse specialist programs require you to put your knowledge to work during clinical hours. You’ll likely spend at least 500 hours in hospitals and clinics.
Throughout your time as a CNS student, you may take a variety of courses to meet the learning requirements of your school. In your curriculum, you may find courses like Adult Gerontology, Foundations of Advanced Nursing, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment, Healthcare Leadership for Advanced Practice Nurses, and Evidence-Based Nursing Practice. In addition, you may take courses that specifically relate to your chosen area of study within the field of nursing.
One benefit of working in a field like nursing is the variety of scholarships and grants you can look into. The Illinois Center for Nursing is a state agency that funds grants and loan programs for advanced practice nurses. The Illinois Nurses Foundation awards many different scholarships and grants to nursing students at different levels of education. If you are willing to use your skills in a rural area after graduation, consider applying for funding through the Center for Rural Health.
Throughout the duration of your education, you should maintain your registered nursing license. This makes it much easier to apply for your advanced practice license when you graduate. After getting your nursing degree, you must follow this process via the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. With this license, you can work independently as a clinical nurse specialist in hospitals and clinics all over Illinois.
As a clinical nurse specialist, you may enjoy an increased earning potential and a very positive job outlook. CNN reports an anticipated 26% increase in clinical nurse specialist jobs through 2022. Their estimates indicate an average salary of $86,500 per year in this field.
With an advanced nursing degree, you may be ready to change the field of nursing. Take the first step today by contacting clinical nurse specialist programs in Illinois.