5 Clinical Nurse Leadership Careers
• Clinical Liaison
• Clinical Nurse Manager
• Post-Acute Clinical Navigator
• Clinical Administrator
• Clinical Wound Specialist
Despite the clinical nurse leader being a fairly new specialty, it’s an occupation that offers various career options. Unlike registered nurses (RNs) and clinical nurse specialists who may specialize in one main discipline, clinical nurse leaders have advanced knowledge of general medicine and often serve as valuable resources to an entire medical team. Their duties may include managing a nursing staff; advocating necessary changed in medical plans; evaluating treatment plans; performing a risk analysis to ensure patient safety and collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team of doctors and healthcare professionals. Here are five careers possible in clinical nurse leadership.
Related resource: Top 50 Clinical Nurse Leadership Degree Programs
1. Clinical Liaison
Also referred to as a liaison nurse, the clinical nurse liaison is a highly trained nursing professional who may work in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, and urgent-care facilities. One of their main and most important roles is acting as an advocate for patients in their time of need. Clinical liaisons act as a contact or middle man between patients, a patient’s family, the healthcare team and insurance companies. Because of the necessity of their position, the clinical liaison is a position that offers excellent career growth and higher-than-average wages.
2. Clinical Nurse Manager
A clinical nurse manager is a nursing professional who is in charge of entire nursing staff, which may include certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), medical clerks and RNs. While the clinical nurse manager oversees the nursing staff, the manager typically reports to a nursing administrator. The clinical nurse manager has many responsibilities, including hiring and firing nurses and medical staff; developing education programs; evaluating the performance of the nursing staff; maintaining the inventory of medical supplies and medications; providing feedback on nursing training programs, and communicating with upper management on behalf of the nursing staff.
3. Post-Acute Clinical Navigator
Yet another important career in the clinical nurse leadership field is that of a post-acute clinical navigator, an individual in charge of providing post-acute services to ensure the highest quality of patient care not just while the patient is in the facility but afterward as well. They offer a variety of services to patients, including aquatic therapy, comprehensive wound care, pain management, amputation treatment, and ventilator weaning. They collaborate with the nursing staff, admissions department, case managers, family members, and both internal and external staff to help make the patient’s transition from patient care to post-acute care as simple as possible.
4. Clinical Nurse Administrator
A clinical nurse administrator is an individual who works within a healthcare environment and takes charge of the entire nursing department. Nurse administrators may be in charge of entire nursing staff in a healthcare facility or may just be in charge of a nursing department. They are the highest professional in the nursing department and even oversee the duties of the clinical nurse manager. The nursing administrator interacts with the patients as well as the other medical administrators. Their extensive knowledge of the nursing profession allows them to implement administrative processes and take a leadership role in a healthcare setting. It’s often an ideal career choice for RNs who want to play an important role in a healthcare facility but don’t want day-to-day contact with patients.
5. Clinical Wound Specialist
A clinical wound specialist is a licensed healthcare professional who is also an expert in wound care. Clinical wound specialists can obtain certification through the Certified Wound Specialist (CWS) Board to demonstrate the highest level of training in wound care. To work in this career, the clinical nurse leader should have a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree as a healthcare professional and at least three years of experience in clinical wound care. They must also have a professional license in the state in which they hope to work. Clinical wound specialists exchange resources with other medical professionals also involved in the treatment of wounds.
Due to the extensive knowledge, clinical nurse leaders possess and the general scope of their jobs, their pay grade is much higher than that of RNs according to Nurse Journal. A high increase in both salaries and demand is expected for nursing professionals, making clinical leadership a choice that offers many career options.