If you wish to advance your nursing career by taking on a leadership or research role in Nebraska's advanced nursing community, then becoming a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) may be the path for you. As a certified CNS, you can take a direct or indirect approach to dealing with patients and the nursing staff, providing professional guidance, and encouraging workplace efficiency.
Contact the nursing schools in Nebraska that offer Clinical Nurse Specialist programs to learn more about your options for study.
Job duties of a Clinical Nurse Specialist may entail:
- Performing clinical practice with patients and their families
- Teaching policies and procedures
- Advocating healthcare policies
- Managing the nursing staff
- Offering consultation to medical facilities
- Researching techniques and procedures
In order to work legally in Nebraska as a clinical nurse specialist, you will first need to earn your Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty focus and then obtain your CNS license. To better prepare yourself for the licensing exam, you should enroll in and complete an accredited MSN program.
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing are the main governing bodies in the country that offer accreditation. Accredited MSN programs hold you to the national nursing standards, providing you with the educational instruction and hands-on training you need to succeed in this field.
If you have already earned your registered nurse degree and license, you can further your career by enrolling in a graduate program, such as the Master of Science in Nursing or the Doctor of Nursing Practice. These degrees require you to complete certain prerequisites before you are eligible for enrollment. Prerequisites include:
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- An RN license
- The completion of an approved statistics course
- The completion of the Graduate Record exam
- A personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
If you are able to attend college full time, MSN programs usually take about two years to finish. During the course of study, you will need to fulfill the required number of credit hours in a classroom setting, as well as a clinical practicum under qualified supervision. Before you can sit for the EXCEL licensing exam, you will need to complete at least 500 hours of clinical experience. Be prepared to delve into a variety of advanced nursing subjects, such as:
- Research methods
- Nursing theory and philosophy
- Health assessment
- Health methods
- Healthcare systems management
Taking three additional years of full-time coursework, DNP programs help you achieve an expanded role in the nursing community, which may increase your earning potential and credibility with future employers. Doctorate studies delve deeper into topics like healthcare policy and leadership. Start your new career path by researching potential clinical nurse specialist programs in Nebraska today.
Most accredited colleges take advantage of federal loan and scholarship programs that encourage students to give back to the community in exchange for college funds and a living stipend. The Health Resources and Services Administration offers several different types of financial assistance programs, such as the National Health Service Corps' loan repayment program and the NURSE Corps' scholarship program, that may help you pay for college.
Studies report that Nebraska's medical industry employs approximately 20,040 registered nurses, including CNS experts (BLS, 2014). With employment opportunities potentially increasing by 19 percent over the next few years, you may see 3,808 nursing positions appear throughout the state (BLS, 2014).
Currently, the annual wage for registered nurses in Nebraska averages out to $57,550 (BLS, 2014). To increase your marketability in the advanced nursing community, will likely need to obtain a certificate in your area of specialty, such as psychiatric-mental health, gerontology, or public/community health. The American Nurses Credentialing Center is one of the main healthcare organizations that issues specialty certificates. Certification can help you advance your career and potentially earn upwards of $76,240 annually, but you will need to recertify every five years (BLS, 2014).
Request more information about an MSN or DNP program and how advancing your education can result in certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist by contacting nursing schools in Nebraska today.