Nurses have become the core of medical care in many different specialties and health care settings. Because nurses now fulfill so many important duties, it is particularly important for nurses to operate under strong leaders and with a common sense of purpose.
In response to the growing need for highly trained leaders in the industry, the Clinical Nurse Leader was developed.
Taking on a Clinical Nurse Leader role involves keeping up with the latest research and working it into your policies and standards. For example, a Maryland researcher notes that a new duty of the head nurse in a patient's room is to interpret the patient's DNR orders and ensure that everyone in the room follows them (Cancer Network, 2015). This is an incredibly significant responsibility.
If you are confident in your nursing abilities and ready to use your skills to influence change in Maryland nursing, keep reading to find out more about nurse leadership graduate programs in Maryland.
Becoming a nurse leader means moving from the role of direct care provider to clinical leader, which means that you must be ready for people to ask for your guidance, follow your suggestions, and hold you accountable for the decisions you make.
To be well prepared for the challenges of nurse leadership, you may need to complete roughly 36 credits of graduate-level work. Several Maryland schools spread this out over four regular semesters and one summer session.
On top of the regular classes you complete, it's likely that you will be expected to go through an internship or residency to further develop your leadership abilities. You may be able to complete this experience during the summer to avoid overloading yourself during the school year.
In the curriculum for your nurse leadership program, you can find out what competencies and skills you are expected to develop by the time you graduate. Courses that are often required in this type of degree include Organizational and Systems Leadership, Methods for Research and Evidence-Based Practice, Population Health and Promotion, Biostatistics for Evidence-Based Practice, Clinical Nursing Leadership Role, and Clinical Nurse Leader Practicum.
By the time you sit for your CNL licensing exam, you should be ready to serve as a leader in many different nursing capacities. Each educational program sets its own goals. You may learn how to collaborate with health care professionals for the improvement of patient care, use new health care systems and technology, rapidly solve problems in complex situations, and properly utilize up-to-date nursing evidence and research.
With your degree, you may be able to take on different nurse management titles in Maryland. However, to become a Clinical Nurse Leader, you must pass the exam administered by the AACN and renew your license every five years. In addition, you are required to renew your nursing license biennially through the Maryland Board of Nursing.
Just as the nursing industry changes on a regular basis, so will your responsibilities as a nurse leader. The tasks that you take on from day to day fall into several different categories. Your workdays may include clinical work, staff management, financial and administrative work, and research.
Clinical work is the single biggest responsibility of a Clinical Nurse Leader. Only by remaining engaged in clinical work can you stay up-to-date on changes in the industry and the demands being placed on your nursing staff. Staff management is also essential to this role. The amount of administrative work you do depends on where you are employed and their needs.
Nursing research is crucial to the work you do. You may not conduct research or contribute directly to the body of nursing research, but you must be able to analyze, find, and apply research that is relevant to all different nursing topics. In doing so, you can help your facility stay up-to-date on evidence-based standards and procedures.
The culture of nursing may evolve as the health care industry changes. By joining the Maryland Organization of Nurse Executives, you can get a good picture of the future of nursing and your place in it. Being involved in the leadership community may also give you access to networking events and current research.
If you have natural leadership skills and a desire to contribute more to nursing, put your passion to work. Contact Maryland Master's in nursing leadership programs to take the first step.