How Do I Become a Director of Clinical Services?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2019
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To become a director of clinical services, you will need to demonstrate a significant level of accomplishment and professionalism in the field of health care. As a general rule, you will need to have completed the requirements for licensure in your profession and have several years of full-time job experience before you would be eligible to become a director of clinical services. Depending on your employer, you may also be required to hold an advanced or even a terminal degree in your profession, and you may also be required to have significant supervisory or managerial experience.

The exact qualifications to become a director of clinical services will depend on the health care modality in which you are licensed to practice. For example, if you are operating in the area of mental health, you will likely be required to be licensed as a clinical social worker, psychologist, or advanced practice psychiatric nurse. If you are working in a nursing facility, you will generally be expected to hold a nursing license. In many cases, you will be expected to also hold a graduate degree in your profession. A master's degree will suffice in some cases, but some employers may want you to hold a doctorate or a second master's degree.


If your goal is to eventually become a director of clinical services, it would behoove you to attempt to gain as much experience in management as possible. A clinical services director typically spends a great deal of his time managing other employees, so additional training in management and administration may be in your best interest. Although you may not want to spend the time getting an additional graduate degree in either of these areas, you may wish to consider obtaining a postgraduate certificate in management or administration. Another option would be to take continuing education classes in these subjects. You should also seek to advance into management as you progress in your career.

Some employers will want you to have anywhere between five and 10 years of experience in your field before considering you for a director position. You may also need to show a potential employer that you have received regular and consistent promotions and increases in responsibility during your career. In many cases, potential employers will also wish to speak to previous supervisors and even subordinates in order to determine whether you are likely to succeed in your role as a director of clinical services.



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