When you earn your first nursing license and get involved in the nursing industry, you quickly discover one of the biggest advantages of this field: when you get some experience under your belt, you can advance your nursing career in dozens of ways.
If you are trying to find the right way to take the next step in your North Dakota nursing career, consider the benefits of nurse leadership.
The role of nurses is evolving rapidly in North Dakota. Care options are increasing throughout the state, primarily in historically underserved rural areas (Grand Forks Herald, 2015). With advanced practice nurses taking on larger roles in patient care, Clinical Nurse Leaders who can work independently in clinical settings are extremely valuable to health care institutions.
To take on more responsibility in the nursing industry, you must be willing to further your education. Find out what Master's degree options you have by contacting graduate nurse leadership programs in North Dakota.
Although there are multiple nurse leadership programs to consider, admissions requirements tend to be fairly similar from school to school. You must have a Bachelor's degree in nursing. However, if you only have an Associate's degree in nursing, you may meet this requirement by enrolling in an RN to MSN program.
While traditional programs require an average of 36 credits, RN to MSN programs require closer to 60 credits. If you have a Bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field, you may be able to meet all licensure requirements by attending an accelerated MSN program.
To take charge in a clinical setting, you should be comfortable with many areas of nursing leadership.
To reach this goal, plan on taking courses like those listed below:
- Ethical and Legal Issues in Advanced Nursing
- Evidence for Nursing Practice
- Nurse Leadership Theories and Practice
- Management in Nursing
- Advanced Clinical Nursing Skills
- Health Promotion
- Role Development in Advanced Nursing
These courses should help you confidently meet or exceed the learning outcomes of your program. Typically, colleges and universities measure progress in several different areas. You may be expected to succeed in staff management techniques and theories, independent patient care, evidence-based care and protocols, and legal issues in nursing.
The vast majority of nurse leadership programs require you to get some clinical experience at the graduate level. To meet this requirement, you must be licensed and insured as a registered nurse. The North Dakota Board of Nursing requires license renewal by the last day of every odd-numbered year.
The final step to becoming a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is passing the certification test, which is administered by the AACN. Once your exam scores and applications are processed, you earn the title of Clinical Nurse Leader. Each renewal cycle is five years, and you must complete 50 units of continuing education during each cycle.
The role of Clinical Nurse Leader is extremely specific in its scope of practice, which is outlined by the AACN. However, when you start working, you may take on different job titles like nurse manager, nurse leader, or nurse executive. Because of this, your duties may differ between jobs or even from day-to-day.
Your scope of practice permits you to take on many new responsibilities. You may design and coordinate care, evaluate the performance of other nurses, take accountability for care outcomes, evaluate risks and benefits for any procedure, design and execute research, and lead nursing teams.
To meet the needs of your institutional facility, you may work a variety of shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays. This allows you to stay more actively engaged in clinical care and work more closely with other nurses.
To be accepted as a leader, you must be a vocal part of the nursing community. Experts recommend staying involved in local nursing associations and advocacy groups, such as the North Dakota Center for Nursing. This group advocates for nurses of all educational levels through policy initiatives, research, nurse advocacy, mentorship programs, training and networking events, and legislative updates.
Nursing care is expanding to include many new job titles and responsibilities. Take advantage of this growth and request information from Master's in nurse leadership programs in North Dakota.