Quote from Nurse3242
I am an RN on a Neuro Intensive Care Unit. My facility provides tuition assistance, so I have applied to go back to school. I am choosing the Clinical Nurse Leader track, which I understand is different from a Clinical Nurse Specialist. How would I go about becoming a clinical nurse specialist with this degree, and what all does the clinical nurse specialist job entail?
Do you love your work more than you loved it as a bedside RN? What are the challenges? Is the job market good? Any help is SO appreciated.
You would not be able to become a CNS with a CNL degree. To become a CNS you need to complete a CNS program and become certified. Now, some facilities have roles similar to the CNS for those that haven't completed the CNS program. For example, at my hospital, those that have not completed CNS programs and are not certified as a CNS may be titled "clinical nurse expert".
CNSs at my hospital are in the "expert nurse"/"consultant"/"educator" role. We don't have too many unfortunately (the cancer hospital in NYC however has over 60 I hear), however those we have are basically consultants to the clinical nursing staff, as well as involved in staff education, orientation, etc. They also attend committee meetings, do research, create nursing conferences, etc. In New York, CNSs do not have prescriptive authority (though they are considered Advanced Practice Nurses), so that's the role of the CNS here.