Whether you are a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse, becoming a clinical nurse specialist may open up numerous career opportunities in Missouri. As a certified CNS, you play a crucial role in the nursing industry by solving patients' problems and making primary healthcare decisions for medical facilities (Discover Nursing, 2014).
In order to become a certified clinical nurse specialist, you will need to:
- Earn your Master of Science in Nursing
- Pass the National Nurses Licensing exam
- Pass the Certified Nurse Specialist exam
When researching potential nursing programs, you should enroll in a college that has obtained the proper accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Accredited CNS programs ensure you are knowledgeable in current procedures, policies, and equipment, preparing you for your licensing exam after graduation.
Contact the CNS programs in Missouri listed below to learn more about how you can expand your scope of practice while strengthening the nursing profession in Missouri today.
Before you are able to enroll in a graduate program in Missouri, you must first complete the required prerequisites, which include earning your bachelor's degree and RN license, completing an approved statistics course, writing a personal statement, providing letters of recommendation, and completing the Graduate Record exam.
MSN degree programs generally take two years of full-time educational training at a traditional campus or through online courses. Classroom instruction covers a variety of subjects, including clinical teaching and practice, consulting, and researching. Coursework may also cover topics on:
- Health assessment
- Research methods
If your career aspirations include ascertaining a position in a research or policy advocacy role, then you may wish to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Be prepared to complete an additional two to three years of classroom instruction, which may cover topics on health economics, advanced nursing policy, and data management.
Both MSN and DNP programs require you to complete a clinical practicum at a medical facility, with most colleges requiring you to fulfill 500 clinical hours before graduation. Clinical training provides necessary hands-on experience to prepare you for work in a high-stress environment, allowing you to help patients under medical supervision. Start your educational journey by researching MSN and DNP programs near you today.
If you wish to participate in bringing specialty care to underserved areas in Missouri, then you may be able to take advantage of certain loan, scholarship, and loan repayment programs that are offered by the federal government. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration offers a variety of financial assistance programs that may help cover your college costs, allowing you to focus on finishing your MSN degree quickly. Financial assistance may include:
Among the top-paying states in the United States for registered nurses, Missouri employs approximately 67,250 nurses, including clinical nurse specialists, at medical offices and hospitals (BLS, 2014). Even though clinical nurse specialists are in high demand throughout the country, you need to earn your degree and license to increase your marketability in Missouri.
Studies show that experts are predicting an employment growth of 19 percent for the nursing industry as a whole, potentially increasing your employment opportunities in Missouri by 12,778 (BLS, 2012). As a CNS in Missouri, you may find employment opportunities in:
- Home care systems
- Medical labs
- Outpatient facilities
- Research facilities
A recent report shows that clinical nurse specialists in Missouri make an average annual wage of $58,040. By earning your CNS certificate, you can potentially earn around $78,950 per year (BLS, 2014).
Once you have obtained your nursing licensing, you will need to earn the CNS certificate by taking the qualifying exam for your nursing specialty, such as psychiatric-mental health or gerontology. You can take the CNS exam through a governing healthcare body like the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The ANCC gauges you on your ability to provide excellent healthcare services, helping you advance your career.
Learn more about career opportunities as a clinical nurse specialist by checking out accredited colleges in Missouri today.