The challenge of creating and filling nursing jobs in North Carolina continues to be one of the biggest facing the state. Interest in nursing remains high, but a lack of nursing educators has created a shortage of qualified nurses. However, recent statewide efforts and a task force implemented by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine have made significant progress in addressing the nursing workforce shortage. More work is needed, though, and funding is a high priority in North Carolina to continue improving education programs and the entire nursing workplace environment.
Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are advanced practice nurses that provide direct patient care and expert consultations in a chosen specialty, such as public health or neonatal nursing. To become a CNS, a licensed RN must earn a master?s and pass a certification exam in the chosen specialization, such as the exams offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects excellent, overall job growth for registered nurses?especially for CNSs, who increasingly replace physicians as more affordable primary care providers.