If you are contemplating a career as a clinical nurse specialist in Pennsylvania, then earning your Master of Science in Nursing is critical to being successful in this sector of the nursing field. Being a type of advanced practice nurse, you may provide indirect and direct care to patients and nursing staff at medical facilities across the state. Whether you end up in a research role or simply advocate certain nursing policies, the sole purpose of your new career path is to improve the overall quality of care for patients.
Contact the nursing schools listed below that offer CNS programs in Pennsylvania to learn more about your options.
Depending on your educational training, you may focus on one of the following areas:
- Specific age group
- Specific disease
- Specific workplace
- Specific body part
With the demand for clinical nurses specialists being high throughout the nation, studies show that these nurses offer lower costs for specialized patient care compared to regular physicians (Discover Nursing, 2015). When researching potential CNS programs, you should enroll in a college that has sought accreditation through a governing body like the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Accredited programs train you in current procedures and tools, helping prepare you for the CNS exam. Learn more about MSN programs near you today by requesting additional information from schools.
If you have already earned your license as a registered nurse in Pennsylvania, you can enroll in an MSN program with a focus on a clinical specialty, nursing management or leadership. Earning your master's degree requires two years of full-time classes as well as the completion of a clinical practicum. Classroom instruction generally covers topics like:
- Healthcare policies
- Issues in practice
- Advanced management principles
During the clinical practicum, you need to complete 500 hours at an approved medical facility. Clinical practicums utilize a tiered approach to training you in a particular specialty, providing you with the necessary hands-on experience to succeed as a clinical nurse specialist. Nursing practicums can help protect public healthcare by making sure you practice competent and safe nursing care at the advanced level.
To attain a research or advocacy role in the nursing industry, you may need to take additional courses and earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice, which can take up to three years to complete. DNP degrees increase your employment marketability in Pennsylvania as well as offer additional opportunities to advance your career. During your educational training, you will need to take courses in health economics, health finance, and advance nursing health policy. Click on a college to learn more today.
There are various financial assistance programs to help cover your nursing school costs. Health Resources and Services Administration offers numerous scholarships, loan programs, and loan repayment programs, with the understanding that you will commit to working in an underserved area for a designated duration of time.
Among the top five states for hiring registered nurses, Pennsylvania employs approximately 128,750 nurses, including clinical nurse specialists (BLS, 2014). Because experts are predicting a 19 percent growth in the nursing industry by 2022, an additional 24,463 nursing positions may open up in Pennsylvania (BLS, 2012). With a master's degree, you may find employment opportunities at hospitals, outpatient facilities, or home care systems.
A CNS degree requires you to be multifaceted, managerial, and patient-facing, and your job duties may entail:
- Clinical practice
Recent research shows that Pennsylvania offers an average annual salary of $66,570 for registered nurses. By earning your CNS certification in a specialized sector of nursing, you can potential make up to $90,890 a year (BLS, 2014). As the main credentialing institute in the United States, American Nurses Credentialing Center offers a variety of certificates for clinical nurse specialists, including:
- Public and home health
- Pediatric and adult psychiatric-mental health
- Diabetes management-advanced
Upon earning your CNS certificate, you will need to renew the certification every five years, submitting your renewal application before the expiration date. If you do not take the renewal test, you may no longer be eligible to practice your specialty in Pennsylvania. Discover how you can become a successful clinical nurse specialist in Pennsylvania by clicking on an MSN program today and requesting more information.