Until you get started in a health care setting, it’s difficult to know what role you’ll play in your nursing career. If you’ve found that other nurses turn to you for advice or expect you to take charge when a situation becomes complicated, you may have the natural leadership skills needed for Clinical Nurse Leadership.
Nurse leadership is more important than it has ever been before, thanks to the huge amount of retiring nurses in Washington DC. In VA hospitals in this area, 10% of all nurses have retired in the last few years, leaving a huge gap in care (NBC Washington, 2016).
As this industry continues to evolve, you may see the focus shift to leadership and management. The Institute of Medicine released a progress report on the future of nursing, in which they noted that nurse leadership is a priority in this industry (Nurse.com, 2016).
As a leader, you can improve care all over Washington DC. Find out how by contacting Master’s in nurse leadership programs in Washington DC.
The path to Clinical Nurse Leadership begins with a Master’s degree from an AACN-approved college or university in Washington DC. These graduate programs require, on average, four semesters of study and 36 credits. During this time, you’ll explore leadership skills and techniques that make use of your clinical experience and theoretical nursing knowledge.
The primary goal of this program is to expand your clinical skills, give you the confidence you need to take on a more independent role in care, and establish you as a leader in the health care industry.
Each graduate program sets its own admissions requirements and curricular standards, but all programs must be aligned with the standards of the AACN. Some of the courses you may take include:
- Nursing Leadership
- Health Information and Technology Throughout the Health Care System
- Evidence-Based Practice for Health Care Researchers
- Leadership Coaching in Nursing
- Health Care Quality Processes
- Health Care Enterprise
Although this degree does pay particular attention to clinical work, it does address learning goals in other areas of nursing. You may develop your knowledge in areas like healthcare finance, nursing research methods and analysis, ongoing trends in nursing, and leadership methods in the health industry.
Before you can qualify for Clinical Nurse Leadership certification, you must have a valid RN license through the Washington DC Board of Nursing. This involves renewing your license every two years by June 30. With a graduate degree in nurse leadership and a nursing license, you can apply for CNL certification via the AACN. This process requires you to pass a thorough three-hour nurse leadership exam.
You may take on a variety of nurse leadership roles and positions, depending on when you graduate and what type of nursing experience you have. Although the scope of practice of a CNL is well-established, this is still a relatively new nursing specialty that is taking root in facilities all over the country.
In Washington DC, many hospitals and clinics have integrated the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and health care agencies.
With CNL certification, you may be qualified to take on a range of new duties and professional responsibilities. According to the AACN, Clinical Nurse Leaders establish patient-centered practices that are based in up-to-date nursing evidence. In addition, you may accept more accountability for patient care outcomes. You are expected to be a leader to other nurses on your team, many of whom you may supervise and train.
Collaboration is also expected with other health care practitioners in various specialties. While much of your time may be devoted to patient care, you should also plan on spending a fair amount of time reading nursing research, adapting policies, and educating staff on evidence-based procedures and policies.
It is highly recommended that you get involved in the nurse leadership community, especially since you can become part of the national leadership community while living in Washington DC. The American Association of Nurse Executives is one of the largest nurse leadership organizations in the country.
As a nurse leader, you may discover advances in nursing, inspire other nursing professionals, and improve patient care.
Find out how you can get started by comparing Master’s in nurse leadership programs in Washington DC.