You already know about some of the issues that plague the nursing industry in Montana. Perhaps you even chose to work in Montana so you can help address these issues. Montana's layout and uneven population dispersion make it extremely difficult to provide residents with the care they need.
With the Affordable Care Act providing health coverage to more people every year, the demands placed on the nursing community may grow even more. Hospitals and clinics all over Montana are reporting higher patient numbers and increased care needs (THV11, 2015).
While it is important for Montana to have more nurses to meet these needs, it is equally important for nurses like you to expand their scope of practice and education. By becoming a nurse leader, you can support nurses at all levels of education, have a more active role in your patients’ care, and offset some of the growing care needs in Montana.
Your registered nursing license and experience may make you a huge asset to the people in your community.
Find out how you can use your skills in a new way by requesting information from nursing leadership graduate programs in Montana.
The role of nurse leadership is an extremely powerful one. When you are seen as a leader in your industry, people aspire to your level of work, trust your recommendations, utilize you as a resource, and hold you up as an example. To be ready for all that this entails, you must earn a Master's degree in nurse leadership. Over a period of four semesters, you can complete 34 credits and fully develop your leadership skills.
You are expected to excel in many different areas before you can take on nurse leadership responsibilities. You should learn how to impact health care change through patient advocacy, communicate with other health care providers for improved outcomes, analyze patient and cost-based outcomes, and properly use all types of nursing technology.
The courses included in your nurse leadership curriculum are selected because of their ability to help you meet these goals. Look for these classes or courses similar to them in your schedule:
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Statistical Applications for Graduate Nursing
- Program Planning and Evaluation
- Design of Health Care Delivery Systems
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
- Evidence-Based Practice
You may be interested in seeking Clinical Nurse Leader certification upon graduation. If this is the case, you must attend a program that qualifies for CNL certification. When you meet these requirements and graduate, you can take the licensing exam through the AACN. The CNL certification must be renewed every five years.
As is the case with any advanced nursing specialty, you must also keep your registered nursing license up-to-date. According to the Montana Board of Nursing, this involves submitting your renewal application by December 31 in every even-numbered year. Each two-year renewal cycle requires 24 hours of continuing education.
As a registered nurse, you take directions from other care practitioners and nurse managers. As you transition into a nurse leadership role, you must be ready to be the one giving orders and thinking about the possible outcomes of every care decision you make.
As noted by the AACN, the main responsibility of a Clinical Nurse Leader is to improve patient care at all levels. This covers everything from reading and integrating nursing research into your practice to developing plans of care that meet the individual needs of each patient.
To grow as a nurse, you must be willing to learn from others in your community. As a leader, you can do this by joining the Montana Center to Advance Health Through Nursing. You can learn about the long-term goals of the nursing industry and network with other nurse leaders to find out what role you play in the industry.
Other than clinical care, your career may include staff management, administrative duties, data analysis and collection, advocacy, and mentoring.
The role of nurses may continue to grow in Montana health care. Ensure that patients in your community get the care they deserve—check out Master’s in nurse leadership programs in Montana below.