Clinical nurses are highly qualified senior nurses who specialize in a specific area of medicine. They oversee the treatment of complex medical problems, help rehabilitate patients and develop best practices in their area of specialization.
To become a clinical nurse, you will begin by following the same trajectory as a regular nurse. After you gain some nursing experience, a postgraduate degree in your chosen area will allow you to qualify for the role you have in mind.
You can join an online school for nurses or take in-person classes. Most working professionals choose online courses because they are more flexible.
You will need to:
- Complete high school and earn a diploma.
- Enroll in a bachelor’s of nursing program to learn the skills necessary to become a registered nurse.
- Get a job as a registered nurse and gain some experience.
After at least one year of work, join an in-person or online school for nurses and choose a specialization. Many of these courses take at least one year to complete, although some take two or three years. Your area of specialization determines how long your course will be. A postgraduate degree in nursing not only qualifies you to become a specialist in your area, but you will also learn essential leadership skills that qualify you to join senior management.
The fundamentals of clinical nursing
The courses you study may have different titles depending on where you enroll, but they impart the same skills. They include, but are not limited to:
You will learn how to assess patients after they arrive at the hospital. This is an important module because what happens at this stage could mean the difference between life and death. Assessments do not establish the disease or illness a patient is suffering from; instead, they aim to determine their general condition so they can point them in the right direction for treatment.
A clinical nurse may have the role of performing diagnostics to find out the exact illness a patient needs treatment for. They will interview, examine and order tests in conjunction with a doctor. The nurse’s job is to share the results of diagnostic tests with the doctor.
You will have studied patient care in your bachelor’s nursing course, but you will learn more about it here. This may include IV placement and removal, wound care, and administering medications.
Clinical nursing is a challenging career, and self-care is important. Simple exercises, meditation and yoga can help clear your mind and prepare you to administer care to your patients.
Developing care plans
A care plan outlines the steps that need to be taken to help a patient get better. It is based on the diagnosis. A clinical nurse works with a doctor to determine the next steps that should be taken, including further treatment and tests, medication and therapies.
Whether you choose online school for nurses or in-person classes, you will need to understand the fundamentals of nursing. These programs equip you with the basic skills you need to carry out competent patient care.