With your background as a registered nurse, you may have quite a bit of experience in patient care, reading and understanding nursing research, and working as part of a collaborative health care team. These skills can serve you well in almost any field, but they are particularly valuable if you want to further your education and become a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
Contact the schools listed below that offer Clinical Nurse Specialist programs in Kentucky to learn more about entering this field.
As a CNS in Kentucky, you may be in a position to improve the state of health care and reach more patients than you could as a registered nurse. Clinical nurse specialists often enjoy a greater scope of practice and can work without the oversight of a physician. Money Talks reports that clinical nurse specialist is one of the top 28 jobs for the class of 2015. If you’re looking for an advanced nursing career that integrates research, practice, and leadership, this may be the path for you.
Clinical nurse specialists often serve as leaders in their places of employment, leading nurses and doctors through changing standards and new protocols. Since this job comes with so much responsibility, it’s important to get the proper education before you start working.
A Master’s degree in nursing includes 30 to 45 credits of advanced nursing courses and helps you develop the extensive practical skills needed in this field. Each CNS program has its own learning outcomes, so you should become familiar with the goals of your program. Doing so can make you a better student and help more adequately prepare for your new career. Upon graduation, you may be able to create clinical care plans for patients in your chosen specialty, direct registered nurses in their daily work routines, lay out new protocols for health care practitioners, and interpret nursing research to figure out how it effects your health care organization.
Clearly, these goals are very diverse. To reach them, you may take core courses like Applications of Research in Nursing Practice, Statistical Literacy in Nursing Research, Theoretical and Ethical Basis for Nursing, and Context of Health Care. High-level courses that may be part of your curriculum include Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Human and Family Development, Program Development in Health Care, Clinical Pharmacology, and Health Assessment & Measurement.
When you go back to school to earn a Master’s degree in nursing, you may have the chance to apply for several different types of financial aid. If you plan on working through school, your employer may help you with some or all of your tuition if you agree to work for them after graduation.
You may also apply for the Nursing Incentive Scholarship, which is worth $3,000. Even if you are not currently employed in health care, you may be able to apply to local employers like Norton Healthcare for scholarships. Scholarships are often available through the Kentucky Nurses Foundation.
Of course, becoming a clinical nurse specialist means keeping up with advanced practice requirements. You must maintain an Advanced Practice Registered Nursing license via the Kentucky Board of Nursing. Once your license is upgraded to an advanced practice license, you can legally begin working as a clinical nurse specialist.
As more and more people start to use their health insurance benefits and seek out care, you may see the demand for clinical nurse specialists grow considerably. By 2022, CNN hopes to see a 26% increase in clinical nurse specialist jobs. The average nationwide salary for a CNS is $86,500 per year.
You can change your future and your health care community with an advanced nursing degree. Get started today by reaching out to clinical nurse specialist programs in Kentucky.