No matter which medical specialty you work in or which type of health facility you work in, the importance of strong leadership cannot be ignored. Managers and leaders can ensure that employees follow policies, work to their full potential, and keep patients in mind at all times.
As a nurse leader, you may play a direct role in the smooth functioning of a hospital or clinic department. Your experience may be used in policy discussions—New Jersey nurse leaders have vocally supported a law that would tighten staffing restrictions in hospitals throughout the state (NJ.com, 2015).
The future of nursing is changing constantly, and a nursing leadership degree may put you at the forefront of it. Experts note that more nurses are moving from the bedside to the boardroom, where they serve in executive and administrative positions (NJ.com, 2015).
If you’re excited to explore your future in nurse management, this is the time to learn more. Contact Master’s in nurse leadership programs in New Jersey for more information.
Becoming a Clinical Nurse Leader is a fairly long and involved process, but it pays off when you secure one of the newest and most sought-after credentials in the nursing industry. To prepare for a career in nurse leadership, you have to be fully competent in management, research, policy, and advanced clinical care.
To build your skill base, you may earn 35 credits over a period of four semesters. Clinical work is often required in this program, but clinical requirements tend to be far more relaxed than they are in registered nursing programs. On average, New Jersey programs involve 400 hours of clinical experience.
The curriculum for the program you choose should outline exactly what you need to learn to pass the Clinical Nurse Leadership licensing exam. Of course, class names and specific course sequences are unique to each school.
However, you may find courses like these in your CNL curriculum:
- Clinical Inquiry for Evidence-Based Practice
- Social Determinants of Health
- Quality and Safety in Health Care
- Leadership Across the Continuum
- Information Technology for Evidence-Based Practice
- Clinical Leadership Role
- Advanced Clinical Pharmacology
Upon completion of your curriculum, you should have accomplished many program outcomes. In New Jersey, schools often expect students to be competent in care coordination, transition of care, facilitation of interdisciplinary health care, and system assessment by the time they graduate.
Since this is a clinical nursing role, a registered nursing degree is required. The New Jersey Board of Nursing requires license renewal every two years, at which time you must pay a fee of $120 and provide proof of 30 hours of continuing education.
After you graduate, you may apply for CNL licensure through the AACN. They administer a comprehensive nurse leadership exam. A passing score on this exam allows you to become certified. Your certification only needs to be renewed every five years at that point.
You should be extremely familiar with Clinical Nurse Leadership competencies by the time you graduate, since these competencies shape your education and your clinical experience. These guidelines may also shape the work you do as a nurse leader. Keep in mind, however, that specific duties are set by each employer and department.
As a Clinical Nurse Leader, you are part of an interdisciplinary care team. Rather than simply being part of a registered nursing team, you may head up care initiatives for your patients. At many facilities, this involves creating patient care plans, staying on top of nursing evidence, and creating procedures and policies that are aligned with current research.
Since this is a leadership role, you must be accountable for the outcomes and care decisions that are made for your patients. You can accept this level of responsibility because of your graduate education and specialized certification.
Staying active in the nursing community and the nursing leadership community is beneficial to your career and to the nursing industry in general. On top of other nursing association memberships, consider joining the Organization of Nurse Executives of New Jersey.
Your leadership skills could shape the future of nursing in your chosen health care facility. Learn more about your educational path by contacting Master’s in nurse leadership programs in New Jersey.