Clinical Nurse Specialist Degree Levels Offered. These are: Once you complete your BSN, you can take the NCLEX-RN exam, which allows you start working as a licensed registered nurse after you have passed it. As part of the interdisciplinary medical team, CNLs plan and implement care for the patient. Because clinical nurse specialists are APRNs, their education must be at the graduate level and must build upon baccalaureate nursing competencies. Our rankings highlight the top programs. Other schools have a general MSN degree that graduates can use as preparation for CNS credentialing, or offer programs emphasizing specific CNS specialty areas. Second degree BSN, which is for those who hold a Bachelor’s in a non-nursing field. A nursing accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education must accredit the program. Then, there are those who simply cannot afford to go to school full time. The time to complete your education to become a clinical nurse depends on your chosen pathway. ), Setting (critical care, operating room, emergency department, etc. LPN to BSN, which takes four semesters. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a significant rise in both demand and salaries of clinical nurse specialists. Criteria: The CNS program builds on baccalaureate-level nursing competencies and culminates in a master’s degree, post-graduate certificate or doctorate. Pass the NCLEX-RN and become a registered nurse. The exact requirements for this vary on a state to state basis. It is generally best to look into your chosen school and find out which prerequisites they have. While earning a graduate degree, students take courses in advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced physical/health assessment. Schools that offer Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or post-graduate certificate programs with a clinical nurse specialist track prepare students to: Graduates of CNS degree programs would go on to earn national certification in the CNS role and their patient population focus of choice, which would align with the focus of their degree program. Through this pathway, someone who already is an LPN or LVN is able to earn their BSN. Working on the development of highly specialized treatment plans, which you will perform after evaluation of the individual patient. A clinical nurse leader is a graduate-prepared RN that is focused on patient safety through evidence-based practice and quality improvement. It allows you to work in various healthcare settings, including health centers, hospitals, schools and private practices. In many cases, students of online programs are able to complete most or all of their clinical sequences at their current place of employment. It is very important to do your research in the various schools and the online programs they offer. If your school’s program isn’t accredited, you will find it difficult to be accepted for various exams. Post- graduate certificate and doctorate programs for clinical nurse specialists receive accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). As a clinical nurse, you will spend your time performing a wide range of tasks, but the ultimate goal is to find a way to minimize expenditure and maximize health outcomes for patients. © 2020 NurseJournal.org, a Red Ventures Company. The goal is that you become a true industry expert, so an MSN degree is the bare minimum you should aim to achieve. In many cases, nursing graduate students are able to complete clinical sequences at their current place of employment. Depending on their chosen focus, students of CNS master’s degree programs would fulfill the clinical sequences at sites that would include the following: Students of online programs would work with their program director to be placed in local partner sites that accommodate clinical preceptorships so there is rarely a need to relocate or travel great distances to complete their clinical obligations. Finally, some clinical nurses also choose to hold a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. in Nursing, Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Accredited MSN Programs in Advanced Clinical Practice, Accredited MSN Programs in Nonclinical Roles, Clinical Nurse Specialist MSN Degree Programs, How to Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Serve as advanced clinicians that lead and collaborate as part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team, Assist and counsel patients and their families through the healthcare delivery process, Serve as educators, evidence-based researchers, change agents, and case managers, Adult-Gerontology (Acute care/primary care), Type of care (psychiatric, end-of-life, rehabilitative, etc. If you do want to become a clinical nurse, you will have to further your education and achieve a Master’s Degree as well. Furthermore, your degree results will not count towards professional education. There are a number of accrediting bodies but the two most important ones are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), also known as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). You need to think, therefore, about the type of setting you would like to work in, and which challenges you would like your patients to face. in Nursing - RN to BSN (Accelerated RN to MSN) and M.S. No problem. BSN, which takes four years and allows you to apply to a graduate school. Achieving a BSN takes four years, but choosing the accelerated option could reduce this to 12 months. If you want to work with children, for instance, pediatric nursing may be for you. However, there are numerous pathways available to achieve this, including RN to MSN degrees. It is reasonable to expect to pay around $34,000 for every year of study. More and more students are adult learners and already hold jobs. A large number of institutions also offer MSN-Clinical Nurse Specialist programs that accommodate students with different educational backgrounds, but nonetheless include BSN coursework to establish the necessary competencies before introducing graduate level courses: Part-time and online formats have also become conventional options for students interested in a flexible learning schedule and 24/7 access from anywhere in the world. An MSN usually takes two years and a DNP takes between two and three years. RN to BSN, which allows registered nurses to earn their degree, allowing them to further their career. The purpose of the CNS program must clearly define the patient population focus and any additional specialty preparations. This is generally a two-year program. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. Through online schools, you can usually take part in both synchronous and asynchornous education. ), Type of problem (wound care, pain management, etc. They are able to work as a primary care provider, but they earn less than physicians, which puts them in particularly high demand. Online programs—which may be partially online (often called hybrid programs) or fully online—allow students to complete some or all of the program’s didactic requirements through web-based study and then satisfy the clinical requirements at partner sites close to home. Nurses pursuing their doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees attain the highest level of education in the profession. RN-to-MSN online programs provide an accelerated route for registered nurses to earn their master of science in nursing degree. 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