U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Clinical Nurse Specialist: The International Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, Diagnose, treat, and manage chronic and acute illnesses, Nursing students enrolled in a BSN program complete in about four years, Pharmacology for advanced practice nurses, Context of health care for advanced-practice nursing, Child/adolescent psychiatric mental health, Graduate program must include three separate courses in, Worked a minimum of 500 supervised, clinical hours in the CNS role and population of choice, Submit verification of completion of a graduate degree program, Submit transcripts of the completed graduate degree program, Provide verification of certification from an organization/ association (such as the ANCC), Examining patients and diagnose illnesses, Treating disease unique to their specialty, Conducting research in their area of specialty, Assisting in creating, upholding, and revising policies and procedures as well as standards of care using current evidence-based research, Provide clinical expertise in various clinical areas, Gather data from medical records and patients to improve care and health care services, Collaborate with the interdisciplinary health care team to create, review, and revise treatment plans, Designing evaluation tools to assess the quality of different patient care and education programs, Act as a supervisor or manager to nursing and ancillary staff. The time to complete your education to become a clinical nurse depends on your chosen pathway. It is typical for clinical rotations in a clinical nurse specialist graduate program to take place in settings like: Candidates for traditional, terminal clinical nurse specialist graduate programs must possess an active and unencumbered RN license, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and, many times, at least one to two years of experience as an RN working in a clinical capacity. What Are the Educational Requirements for a Clinical Nurse Specialist? Students should be sure the school is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). This means adhering to practices that have been proven effective through clinical research. Advanced... Advanced pharmacology Advanced … While both are advanced-practice registered nurses, their roles are different. CNSs often work in direct patient care, but some work in administrative, consulting, research, and supervisory positions where direct patient care is not required. While serving as advanced clinicians, CNSs also evaluate patients’ experience, nursing personnel, and organizational domains, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and positively influencing healthcare delivery at all levels. Many states also require you to also go through a certification process in order to be licensed to practice as a clinical nurse specialist. They serve as mentors, educators, and advocates. Once students have graduated from an accredited clinical nurse specialist MSN degree program, they are eligible to take a national certification examination that aligns with the patient population focus they studied in their graduate program. As leaders, they can also promote and facilitate change. They strive to advocate for high-quality care to achieve the best outcomes for patients. Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN is needed for licensure. Clinical nurse specialists have a unique role. Practice patterns and perceived impact of clinical nurse specialist roles in Canada: Results of a national survey. By definition, CNSs specialize in a particular patient population focus. According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there were 59,242 CNSs in the United States, the second largest group of advanced-practice RNs. CNSs that prescribe controlled substances are also required to secure DEA controlled substances registration. They demonstrate expertise in their specialty area and maintain strong clinical skills. All trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. population (such as: pediatrics, geriatrics, women’s health); setting (such as: critical care or emergency room); disease or medical subspecialty (such as: diabetes or oncology); type of care (such as: psychiatric or rehabilitation); or. The length of time it takes to obtain an MSN depends on the nurse's starting point: Additionally, both online programs and classroom programs are available to accommodate students. MSN-CNS programs are available through dedicated nursing schools, colleges, and universities, and consist of about two years of didactic coursework and clinical preceptorships. What Is the Difference Between a Nurse Manager and a Nurse Leader? As advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) that serve a dual role as both clinician and change agent, clinical nurse specialists (CNS) contribute to advancing the practice of nursing through education, consultation, project management, clinical expertise, and research. Regardless of the chosen work area, workplace safety training is mandatory and ongoing, and most organizations strive to protect the safety of its workers. They serve as mentors to nurses and bring their knowledge of bedside nursing to organizational leadership to improve clinical practice. Certification is obtained by exam and is valid for five years. Online programs—offered either as hybrid (partially online) or fully online programs—allow students to achieve their MSN through highly ranked accredited programs, regardless of their geographic location. Some states require continuing education for renewal, while others recognize maintaining national certification as meeting the requirements for continuing education. Many partially or fully online programs partner with clinical sites across the country, allowing students to complete the clinical component of their MSN at locations close to home. However, the collaboration between physicians and medical staff may require occasional weekend, evening, and holiday shifts—especially considering most CNSs work in the hospital setting. Students can expect the clinical experiences they participate in to support and reinforce the above CNS Core Competencies. However, not all work areas are risky, such as research and education. Clinical nurse specialists are advanced-practice registered nurses who have completed a master's program in nursing (MSN) or doctoral degree program (DNP). Other certifications are available as well and may meet state board requirements. Since research and therefore practice is always changing, nurses interested in a CNS role should be flexible and willing to facilitate and accept change. Admission Requirements Candidates for traditional, terminal clinical nurse specialist graduate programs must possess an active and unencumbered RN license, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and, many times, at least one to two years of experience as an RN working in a clinical capacity. Salary can vary depending on the city/state of employment, additional certifications held, experience level, and the organization. What Are Some Pathways for Nurses Who Want to Focus on Teaching? They are responsible for: Clinical nurse specialists can choose from a wide variety of specialties. It is necessary to have a master's degree in nursing as well as a nursing license in order to be a clinical nurse specialist. Many institutions also require the following: Not all MSN degrees are designed for the BSN-prepared RN. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50, 1524-1536. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2013.03.005 2 Canadian Nurses Association. They utilize evidence-based practice to educate other nurses and to assist in developing cost-saving strategies in the delivery of care. They apply their expertise not only to direct patient care but to research and practice improvement projects.  Nursing registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)  Postgraduate qualification in specific nursing field, twelve months’ experience working in clinical area of specific post graduate qualification OR  Minimum 4 years’ post basic registration experience including 3 years’ experience within relevant area of specialty  Evidence of ongoing professional development … Clinical nurse specialists are leaders in the field of nursing. As APRNs, clinical nurse specialists must possess a graduate-level nursing education, national certification and, in most cases, state licensure: For RNs with licenses in good standing, the first step to becoming a clinical nurse specialist is to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or higher degree specific to the CNS role and a patient population focus of choice. They usually focus on education, research, and consulting. Clinical nurse specialists may work in high-risk areas that may expose them to workplace violence, blood borne pathogens, and chemicals.

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