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Become A Clinical Nurse Specialist

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Working As A Clinical Nurse Specialist

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Make Decisions

  • $52,697

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Nurse Specialist Do At New Hanover Regional Medical Center

* Demonstrates excellence in clinical practice.
* Supports independent nursing practice of professional nurses through collaborative, consultative, and role modeling activities.
* Identifies current trends in healthcare and pain management for their implications to professional practice.
* Applies new technology, nursing theories, research findings and experimental knowledge to improve nursing practice.
* Responds to change in clinical practice by planning, designing, implementing and evaluating guidelines, protocols and standards in collaboration with others.
* Identifies ethical issues in clinical practice and guides staff and other providers in application of ethical concepts to patient care issues.
* Applies innovative approach to solving complex problems.
* Develops, implements, and evaluates unit based orientation programs.
* Develops, implements, and evaluates educational programs based upon assessed learning needs of patients, families and staff.
* Supports, participates in and contributes to educational programs for staff at the unit/service/interdepartmental level.
* Facilitates the acquisition of advanced clinical skills in staff nurses, graduate and undergraduate students through role modeling and clinical consultation and evaluates the effectiveness of the consultation process.
* Plans and implements activities designed to raise awareness of pain control during Pain Awareness Month (September).
* Teaches pain assessment and pain management content in other continuing educational programs (e.g., End-of
* Life Care, Complementary Therapies, etc.).
* Initiate, or participate in, quality assurance and performance improvement activities for evaluation of structure, process and outcome criteria as it relates to clinical practice.
* Utilizes the Model for Improvement in collecting data on clinical practice issues.
* Collaborates with nurse managers in identifying and meeting unit specific needs pertaining to pain management.
* Integrates system thinking, ethical reasoning, and problem solving in identifying interventions that facilitate quality, cost effective patient care outcomes related to pain management.
* Demonstrates standards of performance (ownership, teamwork, communication, compassion) that support patient satisfaction and principles of service excellence.
* Performs other duties as assigned

What Does A Clinical Nurse Specialist Do At NYU Medical Center

* Provides individual and small group instructions related to nursing care techniques and procedures.
* Functions as clinical role model while delivering expert care to select groups of patients/families in area of specialization
* Clinically evaluates and integrates appropriate research findings and best practices into nursing practice
* Serves as a consultant to the nursing staff, physicians and other health care providers in area of specialization.
* Develops and implements studies relevant to clinical nursing issues in collaboration with other health care professionals
* Plans and/or participates in interdisciplinary patient care conferences/rounds
* Participates in the evaluation of patient care through quality assurance/performance improvement activities.
* Represents area of specialization clinically on hospital wide committees.readiness, barriers and alternatives
* Coordinates staff competency plan in collaboration with nursing education.
* Develops implements and evaluate nursing care standards within the area of specialization
* Collaborates with clinical nurses and other members of the health care team to problem solve complex clinical situations.
* Develops clinical policies and procedures.
* Works closely with hospital medical staff, administration, department heads, patient care managers and nursing staff to coordinate all aspects of Emergency and Trauma Care.
* Maintains current knowledge and competency in area of specialization and professional practice.
* Collaborates with Nursing Administration and Nursing education regarding educational requirements of nursing staff

What Does A Clinical Nurse Specialist Do At Cedars-Sinai

* The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is an expert clinical practitioner responsible for providing leadership, consultation, education and patient care management expertise for specific patient care populations across the health care continuum.
* The CNS provides guidance, direction and assistance to the health care team in maintaining optimum quality of nursing care for patients in designated clinical specialty and throughout the Cedars
* Sinai Health System (CSHS), while advancing the goals of Nursing Care.
* The CNS assumes the role of leader, clinician, researcher, educator, patient care advocate, consultant, inter and intradepartmental liaison, and resource professional.
* The CNS directs, supervises and guides nursing staff and health care team members in the provision of patient care.
* This care is consistent with Nursing Standards of Care/Practice, the Plan for Provision of Nursing Care, The Plan for Provision of Patient Care, CSMC Code of Conduct, the Performance Improvement Plan, the Patient Education Plan and Professional Organization Standards.
* The CNS maintains competence skills including the ability to provide care to special patient populations and patients with diverse cultural backgrounds.
* He/She can identify the ability of the adolescent, adult and geriatric patients to follow direction/instructions and give consent.
* He/She can identify safety concerns and institute measures to provide a safe environment; and provide appropriate assessment, intervention and evaluation of patients with consideration of developmental milestones in these patient populations.
* He/she can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the trends and forces shaping the healthcare delivery system, the provision of care, and other emerging issues in healthcare management.
* Demonstrates effective leadership and supervisory experience in clinical, patient, or specialty field.
* Demonstrates flexibility and initiative to effectively lead change efforts to respond to environmental or organizational changes.
* Demonstrates superior interpersonal and communication skills.
* Demonstrates fiscal management capabilities, including effective expense reduction, utilization management, and budget control

What Does A Clinical Nurse Specialist Do At University of Virginia Health System

* Relationship Based Care: reflects the influence of the nurse’s relationship with self, colleagues and patient/family on the patient experience.
* Relationship Based Care reflects the influence of the nurse’s relationship with self, colleagues and patient/family on the patient experience.
* Relationship with Self and Colleagues
* Expert Caring encompasses clinical assessment, planning, prioritizing, coordinating and implementation of care.
* Empowered Leaders demonstrate knowledge of and actively participate in shared governance.
* Lifelong Learners encompasses professional development through formal education, professional certification, internal and external learning opportunities and recognizes the value of external professional organizations.
* Supports onboarding of new team members and precepts as applicable.
* Quality Achievement includes adherence to clinical documentation guidelines, comprehension of outcomes data, engagement in performance improvement activities and commitment to standard work.
* Innovation is demonstrated by application of technologies that support patient care, actively seeking to implement evidence based practice and new knowledge generated by nursing research

What Does A Clinical Nurse Specialist Do At Mercy Medical Center Clinton

* 1. Actively demonstrates the organization’s mission and core values, and conducts oneself at all times in a manner consistent with these values.
* Knows and adheres to all laws and regulations pertaining to patient health, safety and medical information.
* Synthesizes the analyses assessment data to determine patient plan of care for adult medical-surgical patients.
* Assists in implementation of the plan of care and collaborates with the interdisciplinary team.
* Provides consultation to professional nurses and other interdisciplinary healthcare team members, and patients/families regarding clinical, research and administrative nursing issues.
* Serves as a role model and mentor for professional development for clinical nursing staff.
* Utilizes evidence-based practice to identify, validate and evaluate knowledge, theories and creative approaches to healthcare.
* Identifies expected outcomes derived from evidence-based clinical data.
* Performs other related duties as assigned or as workload or staffing variations require.

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How To Become A Clinical Nurse Specialist

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses also must be licensed.


In all nursing education programs, students take courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences, as well as in liberal arts. BSN programs typically take 4 years to complete; ADN and diploma programs usually take 2 to 3 years to complete. All programs include supervised clinical experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs usually include additional education in the physical and social sciences, communication, leadership, and critical thinking. These programs also offer more clinical experience in nonhospital settings. A bachelor’s degree or higher is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching.

Generally, licensed graduates of any of the three types of education programs (bachelor’s, associate’s, or diploma) qualify for entry-level positions as a staff nurse. However, employers—particularly those in hospitals—may require a bachelor’s degree.

Many registered nurses with an ADN or diploma choose to go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree through an RN-to-BSN program. There are also master’s degree programs in nursing, combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, and accelerated programs for those who wish to enter the nursing profession and already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) must earn a master’s degree in nursing and typically already have 1 or more years of work experience as an RN or in a related field. CNSs who conduct research typically need a doctoral degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, registered nurses must have a nursing license. To become licensed, nurses must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Other requirements for licensing vary by state. Each state’s board of nursing can give details. For more information on the NCLEX-RN and a list of state boards of nursing, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Nurses may become certified through professional associations in specific areas, such as ambulatory care, gerontology, and pediatrics, among others. Although certification is usually voluntary, it demonstrates adherence to a higher standard, and some employers require it.

CNSs must satisfy additional state licensing requirements, such as earning specialty certifications. Contact state boards of nursing for specific requirements.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. Registered nurses must be able to assess changes in the health status of patients, including determining when to take corrective action and when to make referrals.

Communication skills. Registered nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients in order to understand their concerns and assess their health conditions. Nurses need to explain instructions, such as how to take medication, clearly. They must be able to work in teams with other health professionals and communicate the patients’ needs.

Compassion. Registered nurses should be caring and empathetic when caring for patients.

Detail oriented. Registered nurses must be responsible and detail oriented because they must make sure that patients get the correct treatments and medicines at the right time.

Emotional stability. Registered nurses need emotional resilience and the ability to manage their emotions to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.

Organizational skills. Nurses often work with multiple patients with various health needs. Organizational skills are critical to ensure that each patient is given appropriate care.

Physical stamina. Nurses should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as moving patients. They may be on their feet for most of their shift.


Most registered nurses begin as staff nurses in hospitals or community health settings. With experience, good performance, and continuous education, they can move to other settings or be promoted to positions with more responsibility.

In management, nurses can advance from assistant clinical nurse manager, charge nurse, or head nurse to more senior-level administrative roles, such as assistant director or director of nursing, vice president of nursing, or chief nursing officer. Increasingly, management-level nursing positions are requiring a graduate degree in nursing or health services administration. Administrative positions require leadership, communication skills, negotiation skills, and good judgment.

Some nurses move into the business side of healthcare. Their nursing expertise and experience on a healthcare team equip them to manage ambulatory, acute, home-based, and chronic care businesses. Employers—including hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and managed care organizations, among others—need registered nurses for jobs in health planning and development, marketing, consulting, policy development, and quality assurance.

Some RNs choose to become nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners, which, along with clinical nurse specialists, are types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRNs may provide primary and specialty care, and in many states they may prescribe medications.

Other nurses work as postsecondary teachers in colleges and universities.

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Clinical Nurse Specialist jobs

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Clinical Nurse Specialist Career Paths

Clinical Nurse Specialist
Adjunct Faculty Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director Clinical Coordinator Nurse Manager
Chief Nursing Officer
14 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Assistant Professor Program Director
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Case Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Clinical Educator Educator Respiratory Therapist
Director Of Clinical Education
11 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Family Nurse Practitioner Assistant Professor Clinical Pharmacist
Director Of Pharmacist
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Project Manager Quality Manager
Director Of Quality Management
13 Yearsyrs
Nurse Educator Staff Nurse Nursing Director
Director Of Staff Development
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Clinical Specialist Specialty Sales Representative
Hospital Account Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Nursing Director
Interim Director
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Clinical Pharmacist
Manager Of Clinical Services
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Clinical Instructor Assistant Professor
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Nurse Manager
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nurse Educator Nurse Manager Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Family Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Patient Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Clinical Nurse Specialist Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Portuguese

  • Czech

  • French

  • German

  • Korean

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Clinical Nurse Specialist

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Clinical Nurse Specialist Education

Clinical Nurse Specialist

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Real Clinical Nurse Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinical Nurse Specialist University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Aug 21, 2014 $135,177
Clinical Nurse Specialist University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Sep 04, 2011 $125,000
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Oncology Stanford Hospital & Clinics Palo Alto, CA Sep 16, 2013 $121,867 -
Clinical Nurse Specialist-Consultation Liaison Mills-Peninsula Health Services Burlingame, CA Nov 01, 2010 $116,872
Clinical Nurse Specialist Stanford Hospital & Clinics Palo Alto, CA Aug 30, 2015 $109,200 -
Clinical Nurse Specialist-Diabetes Stanford Hospital & Clinics Palo Alto, CA May 11, 2015 $109,200 -
Bariatric Nurse Specialist Sutter East Bay Hospitals Oakland, CA Jul 05, 2010 $103,838
Clinical Nurse Specialist ICU The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Torrington, CT Jul 20, 2015 $78,847
Nurse Specialist (Women's Health) Medical Dynamic Systems, Inc. Roslyn, NY Nov 30, 2009 $77,344
Clinical Nurse Specialist (Psychiatric and Mental Medical Dynamic Systems, Inc. Roslyn Heights, NY Dec 14, 2009 $77,344
Clinical Nurse Specialist (Critical Care Unit) Medical Dynamic Systems, Inc. Roslyn, NY Nov 30, 2009 $77,344
Nurse Specialist (Family) Medical Dynamic Systems, Inc. Roslyn, NY Nov 30, 2009 $77,344
Clinical Nurse Specialist (Psychiatric and Mental Medical Dynamic Systems, Inc. Woodmere, NY Dec 14, 2009 $77,344
Clinical Nurse Specialist and Educator William Novick Global Cardiac Alliance, Inc. Collierville, TN Jan 15, 2015 $70,000 -
Clinical Nurse Specialist and Educator William Novick Global Cardiac Alliance, Inc. Memphis, TN Jan 23, 2015 $70,000 -
Clinical Nurse Specialist Praveen Bolarum Md, LLC Frederick, MD Sep 26, 2013 $70,000
Aesthetic Nurse Specialist Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery Inc. Urban Honolulu, HI Nov 15, 2014 $69,915
Aesthetic Nurse Specialist Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery Inc. Urban Honolulu, HI Nov 15, 2014 $69,680
Clinical Nurse Specialist Crofton Convalescent Center Crofton, MD Oct 01, 2011 $64,697
Clinical Nurse Specialist Universal Medical Records Information Network Corp New York, NY Sep 10, 2014 $64,572
Clinical Nurse Specialists (Nephrology) SNG-Texas City Dialysis LP Texas City, TX Feb 15, 2013 $62,000
Clinical Nurse Specialist Unique Home Health Services Inc. Pasadena, CA Oct 01, 2010 $61,131
Nurse Specialists Buckingham Adult Medical Day Care Prospect Park, NJ Oct 01, 2011 $60,320
Clinical Nurse Specialist Buckingham Adult Medical Day Care Prospect Park, NJ Oct 01, 2011 $60,320
Clinical Nurse Specialists (Nephrology) SNG-League City Dialysis, LP League City, TX Feb 01, 2013 $59,000
Clinical Nurse Specialist Houston Oculoplastic Associates, PLLC Houston, TX Sep 25, 2016 $58,323
Clinical Nurse Specialist Loretto Management Corporation Syracuse, NY May 11, 2015 $58,198 -

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Top Skills for A Clinical Nurse Specialist


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Top Clinical Nurse Specialist Skills

  1. Clinical Practice
  2. Emergency
  3. Critical Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitored clinical practices for compliance and shared observations with appropriate level management.
  • Initiated emergency measures in the presence of identified life threatening condition.
  • Awarded Beacon Award for clinical excellence in adult critical care, 2006; sustained through 2008; 2010.
  • Execute medical orders timely and accurately according to institution policy standards and protocols.
  • Facilitated unit practice councils for the implementation of shared governance.

Top Clinical Nurse Specialist Employers

Clinical Nurse Specialist Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Research Nurse by Sara S (Full Version)