With nursing becoming a more complex and comprehensive field, there are now several programs offering advanced training to nurses. These are aimed at improving professional skills and simultaneously create a team of competent healthcare staff which can provide healthcare to a growing number of patients. Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are one such type of professionals who hold at least a post graduate degree in a particular field of medicine, in addition to their basic nursing qualifications.
Becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist:
All CNS professionals originally begin by completing training as a Registered Nurse (RN). This is an undergraduate program which involves an intensive combination of clinical skills training and rigorous class-based theoretical lectures as well. There are three ways to become a professional RN. The first is to obtain a diploma which is offered by hospitals. These programs vary in duration - typically lasting a year - and provide you with the bare minimum training to pass the licensing exams at the end. If you wish to go the college route, you can choose between a two-year associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a 4-year Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). Both of these will train you to become an efficient and effective nurse. Upon completion of your undergraduate training, you will have to complete the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN). This will enable you to practice your profession legally. Following this, you will have to choose from appropriate clinical nurse specialist programs.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs are offered in a broad array of fields, and you can choose the one which suits your interest most. You can focus your graduate training in adult health, or home health and pediatrics, and even community health or diabetes management. Typically, graduate programs last about 2 to 3 years and can go on for longer if you choose to complete the coursework part-time. These programs cover theoretical knowledge and clinical training which supplements your existing knowledge of the subject, making you a more skilled professional.
Why Should I Become A Clinical Nurse Specialist?
This particular profession is gaining increasing importance, especially over the last decade. This is because a growing number of baby boomers are entering their old age, and coupled with a growth in the US population overall, there is a need for competent healthcare professionals. These professionals help bridge the gap between the patients and doctors using their focused training as a tool. Because of the high demand, many employers are willing to pay top dollar for your expertise and services.
Online Nurse Clinical Specialist Programs
While there are programs available to train you to become a CNS, not everyone has equal access to the resources. Online programs offer a convenient and flexible manner in which students can complete their training without attending a physical classroom.