Pursuing a career as a clinical specialist nurse is one sure-fire way of getting into a career that is not only exciting, but also in high demand. It is one among the most prestigious careers in the Advanced Practice Nursing Professions bracket. But to practice, you will need some schooling. Clinical specialist training aims at arming nurses with profound knowledge and relevant expertise in their field, in turn, preparing them for teaching and leadership roles in a wide range of job positions. Joining a clinical nurse specialist training program is the first step to a promising career and a brighter future.
Before Becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist
To practice as a clinical nurse specialist, you must be a holder of a Masters of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN) or greater, with a clinical nursing specialty of your own choosing. But first you will need to be a certified registered nurse. You can readily get a registered nurse training from a vocational or community college. For the Masters Degree, however, you will need to enroll in a Nursing college or any other reputable university offering clinical nurse specialist program. Most universities will only offer basic clinical nurse specialist programs, without the specialties. Nonetheless, there is a wide range of specialties from which to choose in many nursing colleges.
Freedom to Build Your Own Clinical Nurse Specialist Career
With a wide variety of clinical nurse specialist training and specialty options to choose from, prospective nurses have all the freedom in the world to build careers in healthcare fields that best match their interests. You can choose to practice in Adult Health Nursing, Rehabilitation Nursing, Parent-Child Nursing and Oncology Nursing amongst others. The majority of nursing schools in the country offer Master of Science Nursing Degrees via both the traditional on-campus classes and the more flexible and cheaper online degrees. The on-campus classes are great for persons who learn more by teaching rather than reading on their own. The online clinical nurse specialist programs are better suited for the adult student with commitments.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Training
A clinical nurse specialist program culminating in a Masters degree takes about 2 academic years and approximately 500 hours of hands-on on the job practicum. These training positions future clinical nurse specialists for job opportunities in almost any medical institution, where they obviously will be compensated handsomely for all the hard work. At the end of the Masters program, the CNS must sit for a national certification examination administered by The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). After certification and registration, they can then expect to find work in such medical environments as a doctor’s office, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and with large healthcare organizations.
Schools offering clinical nurse specialist programs include reputable and widely renowned institutions such as the California State University in Fresno which offers a NLN accredited Masters Degree program that prepares nurses for clinical specialist duties, as well as Misericordia University – a private owned not-for-profit located in Dallas – that offers a Women and Children’s health program. But these are just a few examples, since specialist programs for nurses are offered in many different areas of healthcare.