Necessary Qualifications to Apply for Clinical Nursing Jobs
Clinical nursing jobs are filled by registered nurses (RNs) after undergoing a clinical nurse specialist program. Since clinical nursing jobs are for advanced practice nurses, their educational qualifications should not only meet the requirements for normal RNs, but some advanced qualifications also need to be there. So, clinical nurses are required to hold a master's degree in nursing and to pass certification exams. Access to a master's degree is only possible through a bachelor's degree program.
There are three ways to begin a normal nursing career: earning a bachelor's degree in nursing, earning an associate's degree in nursing, or earning a diploma from an approved nursing school program. The first one is the only gateway leading to clinical nursing jobs. Some, even after obtaining an associate's degree or diploma, opt for a bachelor's degree and then a master's in order to land clinical nursing jobs.
Students shooting for clinical nursing jobs should expect to take a wide range of different health-related courses during their training. Depending on their choice of degree program, these may include State and National Health Care Policy, Quantitative Inquiry Methods in Nursing, Qualitative Inquiry Methods in Nursing, Physiology and Pathophysiology in Nursing, Acute Illness Assessment, and Treatment and Advanced Health Theory. The requirements for clinical nursing jobs also state that clinical nurses should continue their education over the course of their careers. After completing a CNS program, the candidate has to pass the normal licensing or certification exam from their respective state to be certified by the state licensing board.
The Work Environment for Clinical Nursing Jobs
Clinical nursing jobs are performed within an area of specialization. These areas of clinical expertise may fit into the following categories:
- Population types: These types of clinical nursing jobs specialize in providing preventive and acute care in all healthcare settings to the segment of the population in which they specialize, including newborns (neonatology), children and adolescents (pediatrics), adults, or the elderly (gerontology or geriatrics).
- Setting-related types: These clinical nursing job types specialize in a work setting or type of treatment, including ambulatory care nursing jobs, critical care nursing jobs, emergency care or trauma nursing jobs, or transport nursing jobs. Other types include holistic nursing jobs, home healthcare nursing jobs, medical-surgical nursing jobs, perianesthesia nursing jobs, radiology nursing jobs, and more.
- Disease or medical subspecialty: These are specializations in a particular disease, ailment, or healthcare condition and include addictions nurses, intellectual and developmental disabilities nurses, diabetes management nurses, genetics nurses, HIV/AIDS nurses, oncology nurses, and wound, ostomy, and continence nurses, to name a few.
- Body organ specialty: This clinical nursing job type is about specializing in the treatment of a particular organ or body system. These nurses are usually employed in specialty hospitals or critical care units, specialty clinics, and outpatient care facilities, and include cardiovascular nurses, dermatology nurses, gastroenterology nurses, gynecology nurses, nephrology nurses, neuroscience nurses, ophthalmic nurses, orthopedic nurses, otorhinolaryngology nurses, respiratory nurses, urology nurses, and more.
Employment Outlook for Clinical Nursing Jobs
There are approximately 69,000 clinical nursing specialists in the United States, practicing throughout healthcare delivery systems. The salary offered by clinical nursing jobs ranges from $50K to over $100K, depending on the clinical specialty and geographic location in which the nurse is practicing. Some authentic sites reported that clinical nursing specialists earned a median salary of $78,735 as of July, 2008. As with the whole healthcare industry, the job market for clinical nursing jobs is excellent, with the current demand for CNSs far exceeding the supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the US Department of Labor, job opportunities in all nursing professions are expected to expand by 14% within a decade. Nursing jobs with the highest levels of training and education, like clinical nursing jobs, will be in the highest demand. Clinical nurses can find jobs in clinics, hospitals, and research facilities, with some CNSs even becoming case managers who are responsible for coordinating different resources and services.