With underserved areas across North Dakota having a high demand for healthcare professionals, you may wish to consider furthering your nursing career by becoming a certified clinical nurse specialist (CNS). According to recent studies, you will be able to provide specialty care to individuals at a lower cost than healthcare physicians (Discover Nursing, 2015). As a clinical nurse specialist, you may need to perform a variety of job duties, such as:
- Managing nursing staff
- Providing consultations
- Teaching new practices
- Performing clinical practice
- Researching policies
To learn more about entering this advanced nursing profession, contact the nursing schools in North Dakota with CNS programs listed below today.
In order to become a clinical nurse specialist, you will need to earn your Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in a nursing specialty, such as psychiatric-mental or gerontological health. In order to increase your chances of passing your licensing exam, you will need to attend an accredited college that has been approved through a governing body like the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Check out accredited CNS programs near you today.
Like most graduate programs, a Master of Science in Nursing requires you to provide proof that you have completed the applicable prerequisites, which include earning your bachelor's degree, completing a statistics course, holding an RN license, providing a personal statement, passing the Graduate Record examination, and providing letters of recommendation.
Upon approval of your enrollment application, you will need to complete classroom instruction and a clinical practicum before you can graduate with your MSN degree. CNS programs generally take about two years to complete and can cover a wide range of topics, such as informatics and data management. During the program, you will be able to specialize in one of the following nursing sectors:
- Acute care
- Adult care
- Cardiovascular care
- Infectious disease
- Home health
- Neonatal care
- Occupational health
- Parent-child care
- Perinatal care
- Public health
- School health
- Women's health
To enter a research or policy advocacy role, you will likely need a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, requiring an additional three years of educational training. The DNP program entails taking courses in clinical data management and advanced nursing policies.
Once you complete all the nursing courses for your MSN or DNP degree, you need to fulfill 500 hours of clinical training. Clinical practicums allow you to gain the necessary hands-on experience under the supervision of a qualified professional.
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration provides numerous scholarships, loan repayment, and loan programs to encourage you to find employment in underserved areas throughout the state. You may take advantage of the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program, which allows you to obtain educational funds and a living stipend in exchange for working a minimum of two years at a healthcare facility that has a shortage of nurses.
You may also qualify for the Nursing Student Loans program, which is a need-based, competitive program that requires you to apply for aid at a participating school.
Currently, North Dakota employs approximately 7,680 registered nurses, which includes the CNS sector of the nursing industry (BLS, 2014). With employment experts predicting a 19 percent growth in the RN field, medical facilities across North Dakota could potentially see 1,459 job openings by 2022 (BLS, 2012).
Once you have completed your MSN degree, research shows that you may earn an average annual salary of $58,120 at medical facilities in North Dakota. If you are looking to make upwards of $72,270 annually, then you will need to further your credentials by sitting for the CNS exam (BLS, 2014).
Being a nationally renowned certification organization, the American Nurses Credentialing Center allows you to hone your skills in a specific area of expertise, including:
- Adult health
- Adult psychiatric-mental health
- Child/Adolescent psychiatric-mental health
- Home health
- Public/Community health
Once you have earned you CNS certificate, the ANCC requires you to renew it every five years to ensure you remain up to date with nursing standards. Further your nursing career in North Dakota by choosing a CNS program today.