Clinical nursing is the expert field that deals with the most difficult and complex problems in nursing. Due to the dynamic and changing nature of the field of nursing, those in the profession continually need to increase their skills and knowledge. When the complexity of nursing practice exceeds what the skill and knowledge a generalist can obtain, specialists such as the clinical nurse with advanced training is necessary. Clinical nurses are specialists that hold master’s degrees or more advanced degrees and concentrate on a specific area of expertise such as cardiology, pediatrics, geriatrics, emergency room, neonatal, respiratory, diabetes or psychiatric health.
A clinical nurse specialist, or CNS, is equipped to handle the most critical functions of health care. They set standards for quality health care and view the individual, family or group within the context of the entire health care system. This often requires an interdisciplinary approach that clinical nursing is able to offer, with collaboration between all areas of a patient’s care.
Many roles are encompassed into one within the clinical nursing profession. These roles include educator, health care provider, consultant, researcher, administrator, or case manager. It is a complex system of interdependent health needs that clinical nursing aims to serve. In the role of educator, the clinical nurse specialist covers education of patients, nursing staff, medical team members and the community. As a consultant and researcher, resources and expertise are shared with other health care providers.
The tools used by clinical nursing to promote optimal health, prevent complications and troubleshoot problems, is theoretical and clinical expertise. Clinical nursing is essential to the profession of nursing because standards of nursing practices are developed and implemented in this field. A key function of clinical nursing is the ability to anticipate and prevent complications and also to solve complex problems that do arise. Also, cost-effective care is able to be provided by utilizing available resources in the most efficient manner.
To become involved in clinical nursing, you will need an advanced nursing degree. The University of Phoenix offers the following online nursing degree programs:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Master of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Or see online LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, or general nursing programs