3 reasons to become a clinical nurse specialist

Advance your career in nursing
Are you considering how to take the next step in your nursing career? Here are three reasons you might choose to specialise in a range of fields by undertaking a postgraduate nursing qualification.


Nursing is a career that has been, and will continue to be in high demand. In fact, it’s expected that Australia will have a significant shortfall of nurses in the next 10 years, with 85,000 less than will be required by 2025.* The increasing need for registered nurses and nurse specialists is due to the need for healthcare in general, driven by an ageing population, the rising cost of technology and treatment as well as unprecedented times from COVID-19. 

We look at the three big reasons why you might choose to specialise in a range of fields by undertaking postgraduate nursing studies.

Nurse specialists become leaders

Nurse specialists are increasingly needed to take on leadership positions, mentor new nurses and influence future health policy.

Students can choose to specialise in a range of areas including Cancer and HaematologyEmergencyIntensive CareMental HealthPrimary Health Care and Advanced Nursing Practice/Clinical Nursing

“Through completing my masters I gained knowledge which gave me the confidence to create my current clinical nurse consultant role,” said former Master of Cancer and Haematology Nursing student Katrina Wilczek.

“My studies shaped my focus on areas such as leadership and roles within health services, and clarified my interests as a bone marrow transplant nurse.”

Specialist nursing offers career progression

Amanda Hunneybell, Master of Mental Health Nursing student said: “The qualification I will gain from my Master of Mental Health Nursing course will demonstrate my commitment to my field and significantly broaden my future employment opportunities.” 

“I hope to apply for higher positions to help those most marginalised in our society, and inspire others to do the same.”

As a graduate of a specialist nursing degree, you can expect to progress your career through promotion and advance your salary by a minimum of 30 percent from that of an experienced registered nurse.**

Nursing specialists make a difference

It’s no secret that nurses play a major role in the overall health of the Australian population. Not only do they care for patients on a daily basis, they also help teach local communities, improve patient care, act as advocates and provide counselling. 

Master of Intensive Care Nursing student Unaani Mani said her long-term goals include working in an educational health institution to contribute to the production of quality and competent nurses her home country of Botswana. 

“I am also looking forward to refining my skills in evidence-based practice through involvement in research and publication,” she said.

Registered nurses with specialised qualifications are highly sort after as health leaders. At Sydney Nursing School, we have been providing our Advanced Learning Masters programs to registered nurses who wish to become nurse specialists since 2011. Our postgraduate specialty programs are offered at master’s, graduate diploma and graduate certificate levels and offer you the opportunity to not only progress your career, but make a tangible difference in the lives of Australians.

Find out more about our postgraduate education for nurses and the generous Susan Wakil scholarships available for Sydney Nursing School students

*Health Workforce Australia 2014: Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Nurses Detailed.
**Industrial Relations Commission of NSW, Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award 2015.

1 May 2018

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