Find Your Niche in Nursing
If you want to move ahead in nursing, you must develop advanced competencies, acquire specific knowledge, and gain clinical expertise. Sacred Heart's online MSN offers four specializations to assist nurses looking to move into more specific leadership roles in the field:
1. Clinical Nurse Leader: As advanced generalists, CNLs take a strategic and active role in working with other nurses and health care professionals to manage the coordination and integration of safe, high-quality health care for patients. CNLs keep track of patient outcomes and can alter plans for care as necessary. The CNL specialization course work and 348 hours of role immersion prepares students to sit for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing CNL Certificate Exam.
2. Nursing Management & Executive Leadership*: Prepare to oversee the assessment, planning, and implementation of improved patient care in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, clinics, ambulatory settings, home care, sub-acute, and long term care. Executive leaders and nurse managers are responsible for patient care and services, staff, regulatory compliance, quality of care, and cost containment and may also supervise medical care, manage personnel, and institute procedures.
*Note: This specialization has replaced former track: Patient Care Services Administration (PCSA). The name change and curricular updates and modifications have been made to reflect current leadership trends to enhance the program.
3. Nursing Education: Learn the skills required to effectively educate and train future nurses. With a master’s in nursing education, graduates are prepared to assume teaching roles in academic or clinical settings. Nurse educators design curricula and lesson plans, assess individual learning performance, evaluate program effectiveness, oversee students’ clinical practice, and act as role models.
4. Family Nurse Practitioner: Develop the clinical skills and knowledge to provide primary care to families in an advanced practice role. Study pharmacology, health assessment, and pathophysiology to effectively diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries to patients of all ages. This MSN FNP specialization prepares students to sit for certification exams from the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.