The one constant in the field of health care is change. No matter what nursing specialties you’ve worked in before or what work environments you’ve had, you have the freedom to change many more times before your career is over. This is particularly true if you have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. If you’re willing to earn a graduate degree in nursing and expand your scope of practice, you may be able to better serve the people of Washington by becoming a clinical nurse specialist.
Contact the Washington nursing schools with CNS programs listed below to request program details. Once you’ve review the schools and options, you can make a well informed decision about where to attend.
Clinical nurse specialists may enjoy the freedom of working in different settings and specialties. You may work in a research lab, spend most of your time seeing patients, create care policies and procedures, or lead other nursing professionals. Advanced nursing professionals may even help patients and organizations save money through telehealth operations and other health care operations. Keep reading to find out more about clinical nurse specialist programs in Washington.
Your journey to an advanced nursing career begins with your specialty selection. You may choose from fields like gerontology, mental health and psychiatry, pediatrics, community health, and adult health. If you know which field you want to work in, you may want to factor this into your school decision.
The amount of time you spend in school and the courses you take may depend on which specialty you pursue. Generally, these programs involve two to three years of full-time study. You may earn between 30 and 40 graduate nursing credits. Clinical work should be part of your curriculum from start to finish, and most of your time may be spent with the population you’ve chosen to work with in your career.
The classes you take as a clinical nurse specialist are designed to make you a competent, skilled, and knowledgeable health care provider. Many classes form the base of your high-level nursing education, including Epidemiology, Advanced Nursing Concepts and Theories, and Research for Health Professionals. Other classes you may be expected to take prior to graduation include Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology, Role Socialization, Health Care Financing, Health Policy Issues, and Advanced Practice Concepts in Community Health. At the end of your program, you may complete a practicum or internship.
The state of Washington has a variety of scholarship programs that are intended to help graduate nursing students pursue their goals. The Washington Center for Nursing awards scholarships that cover tuition, books, and living expenses. Another resource for nursing scholarships is the Washington State Nurses Foundation. Several types of financial aid are awarded by Nursing Students of Washington State. By applying for grants and scholarships through several different organizations, you may be able to minimize your student debt and out-of-pocket expenses.
The final step to becoming a working clinical nurse specialist in Washington is obtaining your certification. This permits you to fully use your education in your practice and work more independently as a nursing professional. You must register to take the exam that’s appropriate for your specialty through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Upon passing this exam, you can apply for statewide licensure via the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission of Washington.
The future may be bright for clinical nurse specialists, according to CNN Money. Job openings may swell by 26% by the year 2022, reflecting the nation’s growing need for advanced nurses. They report an average salary of $86,500 per year, which is significantly higher than the average salary earned by registered nurses.
Your expertise can be put to good use in an advanced nursing career. Make your move now by contacting clinical nurse specialist programs in Washington.