Leadership Roles in Nursing

Are you thinking about taking on a leadership role in nursing?

After several years of a career in nursing, you may begin to think about ways you can move into a leadership role or management position. Earning a master's degree is one of the best ways to make sure you are qualified to accomplish this task, but what roles are available for RNs who have earned online nursing degrees to further their careers?

Clinical nurse leader
A vital presence in many hospitals, clinical nurse leaders oversee the medical team that they work with in addition to being responsible for the patient care that they give. CNLs must have advanced medical knowledge and be prepared to work with doctors, nurses, pharmacists and social workers, to name a few. Units with CNLs have been shown to have patients with shorter lengths of stay and lower readmission rates, according to HealthLeaders.

While it may not be an official title, experienced nurses have a vital role to play in mentoring new RNs. Although a career in nursing is extremely valued, it can also be hectic and stressful at times, and mentors can make the first few years on the job for nurses much more manageable.

Nurse manager
In general, nurse managers or directors (formerly known as head nurses) set expectations for care and provide support, recognition and important information for the nurses who they manage. Nurse managers promote organizational goals and communication among different members of the staff, and may advance to an executive role.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_nursing

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