There’s a lot to love about the field of nursing. As a nursing professional, you can provide evidence-based care to patients, keep up on research that affects your standard of care, and become part of a health care team that keeps people healthy. If you’re ready to pursue a graduate-level education, you may have many career choices to consider.
Becoming a clinical nurse specialist may be the right move for you if you want a career that combines research, leadership, and clinical care. The best way to get started is to request program details from the schools you see below, then compare your options thoroughly before making a decision.
Becoming a clinical nurse specialist can put you in a great position to affect massive change in the health care industry. A recent report shows how clinical nurse specialists have tackled serious nursing issues, like staffing levels and infection control in a hospital setting. If you’re ready to get started, keep reading to learn more about clinical nurse specialist (CNS) programs in Texas.
Education and experience are two of the most important parts of succeeding in this new career path. Your Bachelor’s degree in nursing serves as an excellent base for a graduate degree in nursing. In addition, your nursing experience should help you feel more confident as a care provider. Most schools in Texas require at least one year of full-time work as an RN.
When you first start out as a CNS student, you may enroll in courses that make you a better nurse overall. These classes include Advanced Nursing Concepts in Theory and Practice, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment, and Diversity in Health Care.
Once you have succeeded in these classes, you may proceed to courses that specifically deal with the population you serve and your anticipated job duties. Classes you may enroll in include Acute Care and Critical Care Nursing, Health Policy and Ethics, Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse, and Evidence-Based Practice.
No matter how much clinical experience you have from your BSN or your career, you may spend well over 600 hours in a clinical setting as a student. After all, you must be able to function in a leadership role as well as an advanced practice role. Where you work depends on which CNS field you choose.
As an advanced nursing student in Texas, you may have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants. College for All Texans awards scholarships to students in various specialties, particularly those in in-demand fields like nursing. The Nursing Innovation Grant Program is awarded every two years to high-performing students. Another scholarship resource for Texan students is the Good Samaritan Foundation.
By the time you complete your Master’s degree, you’re likely ready to start working and expand your scope of practice. With a current RN license, this process should be easier. You can first contact the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which certifies clinical nurse specialists in different fields. Once you have gained national certification, you can become an advanced practice nurse by applying for your license via the Texas Board of Nursing.
CNN Money reports that this is one of the fastest-growing professions in recent years. Through 2022, they hope to see job openings jump by 26%. By their estimates, clinical nurse specialists earn an average of $86,500 per year. For many RNs, this opportunity reflects a significant bump in income.
Is it time to take your nursing career to the next level and find out what you’re truly capable of? Take the first step by contacting clinical nurse specialist programs in Texas.