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The Clinical Nurse Leader

Career News August 1, 2013

There are numerous options available for someone who chooses to become part of the field of nursing. Some nurses choose to work in a low-key setting, such as a physician’s office. Some may prefer to be involved in more administrative types of duties such as a nursing professional. There are some that enjoy the patient contact, the diversity and the excitement that is present on a routine basis as a clinical nurse leader. He or she has a busy and active role in overseeing his or her patient’s care and deciding what will work best for them.

Job Description of a Clinical Nurse Leader

A nurse leader will decide what changes need to be implemented or changed on a patient’s care plan. He or she will meet with physicians, social workers, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals involved in the care of the patient to discuss the care plan and determine the patient’s specific needs. With the medical team, he or she will decide how this will be carried out. The nurse leader is experienced in the nursing profession and is knowledgeable beyond that of a staff nurse. The requirement for higher education has prepared him or her for this increase in responsibility.

Job Outlook for Nursing

The job outlook for nurses has always been a positive one and continues to be so. This is due to the continued growth and advancements in medical technology. The fact that people are living healthier lives and that their life expectancy has increased also plays a major role in this finding. The role of the clinical nurse leader is needed in many different types of nursing and facilities. You will find them in nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care facilities.

Educational Requirements

To become a nurse leader, it is necessary to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree first, and then pass the state board examination. This is followed by earning a Master of Science Nursing (MSN) degree and passing a clinical nurse leader examination. For more information on becoming a nurse leader, there are two associations that will prove to be helpful. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Clinical Nurse Leader Association will provide information on the education needed to become a nurse leader. These groups will also provide an understanding of the role of a nurse leader, certification, career opportunities, and other helpful resources. They offer a forum where a nurse can connect with others in the field of nursing leaderships. Membership is optional, but it would be beneficial for the nurse who is seriously considering this type of career option.

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