How Do I Become a Nurse Clinician?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A nurse clinician receives additional nursing training so that she can evaluate and treat patients, performing many of the tasks normally handled by licensed doctors. In most jurisdictions, you will need a master's degree to become a nurse clinician as well as a nurse licensing. You will also need an advanced practice nurse license to get started in this field, which requires proving the completion of a graduate nursing program and passing a rigorous examination. To get started working toward this career, you will usually have to earn a high school diploma and a bachelor's degree in nursing.

A nurse clinician is licensed to perform many more tasks than other nurses.
A nurse clinician is licensed to perform many more tasks than other nurses.

In general, you will need extensive education to become a nurse clinician, as a master's degree is required in most jurisdictions. Before you can gain acceptance to a master's degree program, however, you will typically have to graduate from high school and complete a bachelor's degree program in nursing. Usually, such programs last for about four years and include the study of such subjects as biology, chemistry, microbiology, human development, psychology, and sociology. You will likely also study statistics, wellness, how to care for various types of patients, the nursing process, and mental health nursing. Usually, these programs have a clinical component as well.

To become a nurse clinician, one must earn a master of science in nursing.
To become a nurse clinician, one must earn a master of science in nursing.

Most jurisdictions will also require you to earn a registered nurse license as you work to become a nurse clinician. This is usually accomplished before you go on to enroll in a master's degree program and typically requires you to provide proof of nurse education program completion and then to pass a licensure examination. In many places, you will also have to submit to a background check and possibly even fingerprinting to become a nurse clinician.

Nurse clinicians may be fingerprinted during the licensing process.
Nurse clinicians may be fingerprinted during the licensing process.

After college, you will usually have to enroll in a master's degree program to become a nurse clinician. These programs typically last for about two or three years and include studying such subjects as applied pharmacology, physiology, pathophysiology, care of various types of patients, nursing theory, research and design, and business and strategic planning. This type of program also includes clinical practice, usually in the form of a residency, which is on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced nurse practitioners and doctors.

The last step in becoming a nurse clinician is usually earning an advanced nursing license. To do so, you will have to provide proof of graduate school education and current nursing licensing. Additionally, you'll need to take and pass an advanced nurse licensure exam.

An advanced practice nurse license is required to become a nurse clinician.
An advanced practice nurse license is required to become a nurse clinician.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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