The need for skilled nursing professionals is growing all over the country as health care organizations and employers try to keep up with the demands of the Affordable Care Act. This need has been particularly strong in states with large rural populations like Iowa.
For many rural health care centers, the cost of staffing doctors is prohibitively expensive. Advanced nursing specialists can provide high-level care to patients of all ages and backgrounds. If you want to take your nursing career to the next level, consider becoming a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
Contact the Iowa nursing schools with CNS programs to learn more about your options.
As a clinical nurse specialist, you may have the opportunity to work with patients, conduct and implement research, and lead other medical staff in a variety of settings. For example, oncology clinical nurse specialists contributed to research on managing treatment-related neurotoxicity. No matter which age group, medical need, or specialty area interests you, you may be able to find a clinical nurse specialist path that suits you.
Choosing the right Iowa CNS program is a major part of succeeding as a graduate nursing student. As you evaluate different CNS schools in Iowa, look into the specialty programs they offer to ensure that you choose one that is right for you. Many schools offer adult and gerontology CNS programs. Less common offerings include oncology, pediatrics, surgery, and research. The path you choose may determine the career path you follow, so choose wisely.
Depending on the specialty you choose, you may spend between two and four years in school as a graduate student. During this time, you may work with nursing research, spend time in clinical settings with patients, and build your leadership skills in the health care field.
CNS students must be skilled and educated in a variety of areas. To be prepared for your new career, plan on taking courses like Information Technology in Health Care, Introduction to Health Policy, Advanced Assessment and Clinical Reasoning, Introduction to Management of Health Care Organizations, Human Responses to Acute and Chronic Illness, and Advanced Practice Clinical.
Given the scope of practice of a CNS, it should be clear that clinical hours are very important. By the time you graduate, you should have earned more than 500 hours as a clinical specialist.
As Iowa’s need for clinical nurse specialists continues to increase, a growing number of organizations are funding scholarships for graduate nursing students. The Iowa Bureau of Oral and Health Delivery Systems awards several different grants during each school year. Scholarships are funded by the Iowa Health Care Association. If you are not already a member of the Iowa Nurses Association, you may wish to join and apply for their range of scholarships.
Before you can begin working independently as a clinical nurse specialist, you must meet the licensing requirements of the Iowa Board of Nursing. This involves maintaining a current registered nursing license and applying for advanced practice standing, which permits you to expand your scope of practice and work with patients more independently.
This may be a great career path for many years to come, as the need for clinical nurse specialists is expected to continue growing. In addition, becoming an advanced nursing specialist may boost your earning potential. Per CNN, the average salary for a CNS is $86,500 per year and job openings are expected to increase by 26% through 2022.
If it’s time to use your nursing experience in a new and innovative way, take the first step today. Reach out to clinical nurse specialist programs in Iowa today by contacting the schools on our site.