There are many opportunities and options for advanced practice nurses. Nurses are discovering the path to ensuring continued upward mobility in their profession, greater personal satisfaction and, not the least, a greater impact on the lives of patients. That path is the professional credential of a graduate degree in nursing. A graduate degree in nursing can open career doors and unlock personal potential.
A Clinical Nurse Specialist has competencies in advanced nursing practice and is an expert clinician and client advocate in a particular specialty of nursing practice. CNSs provide direct client care, health promotion and preventive care within specialized areas of practice and may be involved in research, education and consultation. The CNS is also involved in indirect practice activities and serves three clients: individuals and their families; nursing personnel and health care systems; and the populations that they serve. Specialty areas of study include: administration; adult health and illness; community health and child and family.
A Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice nurse with master's or post-master's education. The NP is a skilled health care provider who provides direct care to patients and families in primary care settings. Family Nurse Practitioners are master's prepared nurses who care for individuals of all ages, families and communities. Adult NPs care for persons from adolescence through the end of life. Pediatric NPs care for infants through adolescence. Women's Health Care NPs care for women from adolescence through the end of life. Geriatric NPs care for adults aged 55 and older. Acute Care NPs care for critically ill and hospitalized adults. Certified Nurse Midwives do prenatal, labor and delivery and postnatal care.
At least one year of experience as a registered nurse is highly recommended by most programs and required by others.
How long does the master's program take?
The estimated length of time to complete the master's degree is a minimum of five (5) quarters of full-time study. Nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery programs require 2 years (6 terms) of full time study. Some specialties require coursework during the summer term. The estimated length of time to complete the master's degree on a part-time basis is up to three years.