Who's Who in the Nursing Hierarchy
Kathy Quan | NursingLink
Non-Management Leadership Positions
Beyond management roles, there are also a variety of leadership positions for nurses in facilities and agencies that include Clinical Nurse Specialists, Staff Educators, Risk Management, Quality Improvement Specialists, Infection Control Specialists, Nurse Researchers, and Nurse Practitioners. Although they aren’t part of the management track, these roles require a BSN or Master’s degree with a clinical specialty focus.
Career Growth Paths and Salaries
Nursing offers many roles and career paths making it attractive to a wide variety of personalities. Nurses may choose to spend their entire career providing bedside care, or they may chose to specialize, educate, or manage other nurses. Roles for nurses have expanded tremendously and will continue to do so as the health care needs of a growing and aging population demands.
Pay scales as well as job opportunities depend upon education and licensure, often times even more than experience. BSN nurses make more than RNs with an ADN/ASN or Diploma doing the same job. A brand new Staff Nurse with a BSN outranks an experienced RN with an ADN/ASN or a diploma RN, depending upon the situation. A nurse with a BSN is expected to have more leadership skills and an advanced knowledge base to draw upon. In reality, this may not always be true, but in a competitive job market, employers are demanding more bang for their buck.
Quality of care studies have shown that patients fare better when cared for by nurses with higher education as well. Consumers are demanding better quality of care, and those who reimburse health care such as Medicare and private health insurances have mandated quality improvements. Nurses today should seriously consider getting a BSN as a minimum requirement. This can be achieved through a direct BSN program, or first getting a LPN license and then moving on to BSN and RN to BSN programs.