December 6, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Becoming a clinical nurse specialist would be an excellent career choice for anyone who is capable of taking on a leadership role, has a knack for complex problem solving and thrives in an environment where they can care for others. One of the best parts of being a CNS is the ability to work in a specialized area of health care, such as geriatric nursing or acute care nursing.
As a CNS, some of your jobs and responsibilities would include:
Qualifying as a clinical nurse specialist requires considerable schooling. Plan in advance on studying hard for a an MSN degree (Master of Science in Nursing degree). With nursing being such a vast and varied field, you will need to pick a specialty to concentrate on.
The courses in an MSN program are much more advanced than those in a bachelor’s degree program, but your undergraduate curriculum will serve as a useful building block. If you have a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in another field, you can find schools that offer accelerated programs for Bachelor of Science (BSN) and MSNs degrees. These accelerated programs give you credit for your earlier coursework, saving you time and money.
After you graduate, you will still need to obtain your certification from The American Nurses Credentialing Center before you can start working as a nurse. The ANCC certifies clinical nurse specialist who meet the eligibility requirements. Although the certification is not mandatory in all 50 states, it highly advisable to get one anyway, for two reasons – obtaining the certification serves as proof that you know your stuff and also, many employers prefer to hire a CNS who has taken the test and earned their certification.
Clinical nurse specialists are multi-skilled and have the ability to work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practice, clinics, health centers, long-term care facilities and home health service.
The main factor that will determine your career path is the specialization that you trained in. Training in a specialty such as women’s health could land you a job in a hospital maternity ward whereas training in geriatric nursing is more appropriate to a job in a long-term care facility. CNSs are also well-versed in evidence-based nursing and research jobs are another possibility.