No matter how long you have worked as a registered nurse, you have likely noticed that the nursing industry is changing. The field has changed considerably since nurses first provided bedside assistance to doctors. Nurses are taking on more and more responsibility all the time, and industry leaders are always creating new roles for highly-trained nurses.
Taking your education to the graduate level may naturally put you in a leadership position.
With a nurse leadership degree, you can explore many different opportunities. Although New Mexico reportedly has one of the best working environments for nurses, the state has a great need for highly educated nurses in rural areas (KRQE News 13, 2015).
Strong leaders are also a necessary component of the growing technological sector in New Mexico healthcare. The nursing hotline model created in New Mexico is now being used as a model for the entire country (GovTech, 2015).
Discover if you have what it takes to become a nurse leader by requesting information from nurse leadership graduate programs in New Mexico.
The first step to becoming a nurse leader in New Mexico is staying licensed as a registered nurse, since you’ll need to work in a clinical setting throughout your career. Furthermore, you may want to keep working as an RN while earning your graduate degree. Keep your license renewed through the New Mexico Board of Nursing by submitting a renewal application every two years and completing 30 continuing education units.
Then, you are ready to tackle the challenges of graduate nursing study. You’ll need a BSN before you start. If you have an Associate’s degree in nursing, check out RN to MSN programs to compare your options.
In a traditional BSN to MSN program, you may only need to complete about 36 credits. This may include courses like:
- Applied Clinical Research in Advanced Nursing Practice
- Organizational Systems and Quality Management in Nursing
- Principles of Advanced Nursing Management
- Health Care Innovations and Informatics
- Leading Organizational Change
- Applied Epidemiology in Nursing Practice
You may encounter a wide range of clinical requirements as you learn about different schools. While some programs allow you to complete your degree entirely online, other programs require about 500 hours of clinical work in a leadership role. Many experts recommend at least some leadership field experience, since moving from an RN position to a leadership position may require some adjustment.
Once you have completed your education, you can finish the process by taking the Clinical Nurse Leadership licensing exam, which is administered by the AACN. You receive your license after passing this exam. From there, you simply have to renew your license every five years, during which time you must complete 50 hours of continuing education.
Being a Clinical Nurse Leader means being a source of guidance, research, and information for other nurses, healthcare professionals, patients, and patients’ family members. That’s why your clinical skills must be highly refined—your input is highly regarded by those you work with.
A significant part of nurse leadership is research. Reading, analyzing, and applying nursing research allows you to create hospital and departmental policies that are in your patients’ best interests.
You still get to spend plenty of time with patients as a Clinical Nurse Leader. In fact, the AACN stresses that this is the main focus of this particular credential. You may oversee the work that other nurses do with your patients and work directly with patients independently.
Staying on top of changes in the nursing industry and community is crucial. If others look to you for leadership, you must be kept in the loop. Joining a group like the New Mexico Organization of Nurse Leaders may help you learn about changing legislation, the scope of practice for different nursing positions, and current issues in the world of nursing leadership. You can also make the most of your nurse leadership position by joining local nursing organizations and associations.
Nursing is changing. Instead of worrying about change, why not embrace it by advancing your career with a new credential? A Master’s degree in nurse leadership can put your nursing knowledge to even greater use.
Request information from nurse leadership graduate programs in New Mexico to get started.