South Carolina, like many other Southern states, has suffered lower-than-average quality scores in various health measures over the years. A number of factors contribute to these struggles, including high poverty rates, remote communities, a lack of care providers, and inadequate funding. Statewide policies and laws have started to turn this problem around.
While South Carolina is still lower than most other states in terms of national rankings, it has improved significantly in recent years (Augusta Chronicle, 2015). Experts in public health hope to continue strengthening health care measures in South Carolina.
Succeeding in this area means analyzing existing research, creating strong policies, and implementing them in facilities across South Carolina. Nurse leaders can help institutions in South Carolina accomplish these goals, since this role focuses so heavily on research and evidence.
If you’d like to be a part of this effort, start exploring your opportunities by checking out graduate nurse leadership programs in South Carolina. You can contact schools directly from our site to learn more.
As you already know from your time as a registered nurse, the field of nursing is highly regulated. This includes the role of Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), which was developed fairly recently by the AACN. Any Master’s degree program that is approved for CNL certification must meet specific educational and training requirements.
If you attend school full-time, you may be able to complete your Master’s degree in four semesters. Most schools include clinical work in their curriculum, an opportunity that may allow you to start networking and preparing for the future of your career.
While working through your CNL curriculum, you may enroll in classes like:
- Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations for Nursing
- Nursing Research Methods
- Cultural Perspectives in Health Care
- Health Care Delivery Systems
- Advanced Applied Pharmacology
- Quality and Risk Management in Health Systems Leadership
- Global Health Care
- CNL Practicum
By excelling in these courses, you can meet the learning outcomes of your college or university. One of the most important parts of nurse leadership is evidence-based practice, which is why you should be well-versed in nursing research by the time you graduate.
Leadership and management techniques are another area of focus, since you may head up a team of nurses or care providers. Upon completing your education, you should also be ready to implement new health care innovations and techniques in your practice.
As is the case with any clinical nursing role, a registered nurse license is required. The South Carolina Board of Nursing requires you to submit a renewal application every two years and pay a fee of $75. Since CNL is a national certification, you must get certified through the AACN by taking a licensing exam. You can then complete 50 hours of continuing education every five years to keep your license up-to-date.
There are hundreds of health care centers in South Carolina, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. The role of the Clinical Nurse Leader is implemented in slightly different ways at each health care center, depending on their nursing needs and the expectations of administrators.
However, one commonality you may find is the focus on clinical care. Per the AACN, CNLs must make clinical work the center of their career. This includes hands-on work with patients, the creation of care plans, and communication with patients.
As noted earlier, evidence-based care is a priority in nurse leadership. The work you do in nursing research and analysis allows you to change, eradicate, or create policies and procedures that are based in current evidence.
The nursing community is very active in South Carolina, so you may be able to learn quite a bit from other nurse leaders in your region. Joining a group like the South Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders puts you in touch with other leaders in the state and allows you all the benefits of networking. Furthermore, staying involved with other local nursing associations can help you develop your reputation as a leader.
You can expect the role of nurse leaders to evolve as the nursing industry changes in coming years. No matter what, though, leaders are the professionals who guide the industry through change.
Find out if you have what it takes to serve as a nurse leader by requesting information from graduate nurse leadership programs in South Carolina.