Washington Clinical Nurse Leader Programs

Over the years you spend in the nursing industry, your role as a nurse may change considerably. This allows you to explore different passions and areas of interest in the nursing industry, which can benefit you and the nursing industry in general. As Washington facilities strive to meet federal regulations and follow new policies, nurses may start to play an even more essential role in the health care industry.

Advocacy is a growing focus in Washington nursing, and you may be in a better position to advocate for your patients if you study nurse leadership. In particular, advocacy on the part of caregivers and care providers may protect elderly and disabled patients from neglect (Union Bulletin, 2015).

Experts in nursing note that the nursing community has been constantly evolving and adapting to industrywide change, making it stronger and equipping nurses with more varied skills through higher education (EurekAlert, 2015).

Are you ready to encourage nurses in your community to follow high care standards and do as much as they can for patients? Get started now and check out graduate nurse leadership programs in Washington listed below.

How Can I Become a Clinical Nurse Leader in Washington?

Nursing leadership programs in Washington aim to meet a variety of goals and achieve specific learning outcomes. Not only do they offer leadership training and management techniques, they enhance your clinical skills to allow you to work more independently with patients.

To graduate with a Master’s degree in nurse leadership, you must earn between 30 and 39 credits at an AACN-approved program. Your credits may be comprised of classroom time, research activities, and clinical work. Clinical requirements in Washington range from 100 hours to over 1000 hours, so you can choose the program that fits your schedule and clinical needs.

Some of the classes that may be required in this type of program include:

  • Concepts in Population Health
  • Nursing Leadership
  • Leadership Capstone Practicum
  • Health Economics and Finance
  • Health Care Quality Processes
  • Health Information and Technology
  • Evidence-Based Practice for Health Care Professionals
  • Health Care Enterprise

To become licensed as a Clinical Nurse Leader, you must first have a nursing license that is valid in your state. The Washington Nursing Commission requires you to renew your nursing license every year by your birthday, making it one of the only states to require annual renewal.

Once you have finished your Master’s degree and you feel confident about your knowledge of nurse leadership concepts, you can register to take the Clinical Nurse Leadership exam through AACN. Passing this exam allows you to become certified for five years.

What Does a Clinical Nurse Leader Do?

The leadership needs of Washington healthcare institutions vary from employer to employer, and even within different departments. Flexibility is key as you begin your career in nursing leadership, since your assigned tasks and priorities may change on a daily basis.

However, there are certain areas of nursing practice that you should prioritize as a Clinical Nurse Leader. The first is clinical work. Rather than focusing solely on administration or management, you are expected to maintain an active role in patient care.

When you are not providing hands-on care to patients on your caseload, you may provide guidance to registered nurses on specific procedures or care instructions. You may also be the expert in nursing research at your facility, so you must stay up-to-date on nursing studies and figure out how to apply them to the policies of your institution. If a policy or procedure is not evidence-based, you may work with administrators to change it.

Nurse management and leadership is a challenging aspect of the healthcare industry, and you may benefit from connections with other nurses who hold leadership positions. The Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives encompasses the state of Washington and other states in the Pacific Northwest. You may find that joining a professional organization makes it easier for you to establish yourself as a leader, act as a mentor in the community, and stay on top of nursing research and evidence.

The health care industry will likely change quite a bit in coming years as federal and state regulations are implemented. Help the nursing field of Washington acclimate and thrive—contact Master’s in nurse leadership programs in Washington for more information.

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