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Become A Clinical Specialist

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Working As A Clinical 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

  • $94,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Specialist Do

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Duties

Registered nurses typically do the following:

  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms
  • Administer patients’ medicines and treatments
  • Set up plans for patients’ care or contribute to existing plans
  • Observe patients and record the observations
  • Consult and collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment

Most registered nurses work as part of a team with physicians and other healthcare specialists. Some registered nurses oversee licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides.

Registered nurses’ duties and titles often depend on where they work and the patients they work with. For example, an oncology nurse may work with cancer patients or a geriatric nurse may work with elderly patients. Some registered nurses combine one or more areas of practice. For example, a pediatric oncology nurse works with children and teens who have cancer.

Many possibilities for working with specific patient groups exist. The following list includes just a few examples:

Addiction nurses care for patients who need help to overcome addictions to alcohol, drugs, and other substances.

Cardiovascular nurses care for patients with heart disease and people who have had heart surgery.

Critical care nurses work in intensive-care units in hospitals, providing care to patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses and injuries that need very close monitoring and treatment.

Genetics nurses provide screening, counseling, and treatment for patients with genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.

Neonatology nurses take care of newborn babies.

Nephrology nurses care for patients who have kidney-related health issues stemming from diabetes, high blood pressure, substance abuse, or other causes.

Rehabilitation nurses care for patients with temporary or permanent disabilities.

Registered nurses may work to promote public health, by educating people on warning signs and symptoms of disease or managing chronic health conditions. They may also run health screenings, immunization clinics, blood drives, or other community outreach programs. Other nurses staff the health clinics in schools.

Some nurses do not work directly with patients, but they must still have an active registered nurse license. For example, they may work as nurse educators, healthcare consultants, public policy advisors, researchers, hospital administrators, salespeople for pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, or as medical writers and editors.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They provide direct patient care in one of many nursing specialties, such as psychiatric-mental health or pediatrics. CNSs also provide indirect care, by working with other nurses and various other staff to improve the quality of care that patients receive. They often serve in leadership roles and may educate and advise other nursing staff. CNSs also may conduct research and may advocate for certain policies.

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How To Become A Clinical 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.

Education

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.

Advancement

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 Specialist Career Paths

Clinical Specialist
Case Manager Operations Manager Territory Manager
Senior Territory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Owner Assistant Director
Director Of Pharmacist
10 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Clinical Operations
12 Yearsyrs
Clinical Manager Operations Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Clinical Manager Operations Manager Program Director
Branch Director
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Adjunct Professor Nurse Manager
Emergency Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Unit Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Case Management
11 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Unit Manager Clinical Manager
Clinical Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Counselor Therapist
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Director Service Director
Administrative Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Coordinator Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Study Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Representative Supervisor Clinical Supervisor
Manager Of Clinical Services
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Supervisor Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Coordinator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Utilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Clinical Director Director Of Rehabilitation
Rehab Director
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Nursing Director Director Of Clinical Education
Respiratory Care Program Director
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Director Clinical Director
Director Of Child Welfare Services
10 Yearsyrs
Medical Coder Quality Specialist Quality Consultant
Quality Improvement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Sales Representative Senior Sales Specialist
Hospital Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Clinical Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Do you work as a Clinical Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$94,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$52,000
Min 10%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$172,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
UMass Memorial Health Care
Highest Paying City
Portland, ME
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Clinical Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Clinical Specialist in the United States is $94,968 per year or $46 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $52,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $172,000.

Real Clinical Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinical Specialist of Implantable Vascular Devices Corasol LLC Rockville, MD Nov 10, 2016 $155,650
Pharmacy Clinical Specialist St. Joseph Regional Health Center Bryan, TX Aug 15, 2016 $141,144
Pharmacy Clinical Specialist-Nights St. Joseph Regional Health Center Bryan, TX Apr 27, 2016 $140,670
Pharmacy Clinical Specialist-Nights St. Joseph Regional Health Center Bryan, TX Dec 23, 2015 $140,670
Pharmacy Clinical Specialist St. Joseph Regional Health Center Bryan, TX May 05, 2016 $139,298
Clinical Specialist Ivoclar Vivadent Inc. Amherst, NY Oct 31, 2013 $121,839
Assistant Clinical Specialist University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN Jul 14, 2014 $118,000
Assistant Clinical Specialist University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN Jan 21, 2014 $115,000
Senior Clinical Specialist, Crdm Medtronic, Inc. Mounds View, MN Nov 16, 2016 $113,006
Clinical Specialist The Methodist Hospital Houston, TX Jan 07, 2016 $112,478
Senior Clinical Specialist, Crdm Medtronic, Inc. Mounds View, MN Aug 29, 2016 $110,323
Assistant Clinical Specialist University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN Apr 01, 2013 $105,000
Assistant Clinical Specialist University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN Nov 01, 2011 $105,000
Assistant Clinical Specialist University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN Mar 01, 2012 $100,000
Senior Clinical Specialist St. Jude Medical S.C. Inc. Austin, TX Jun 06, 2016 $100,000
Assistant Clinical Specialist University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN Oct 01, 2013 $100,000
Clinical Specialist The Methodist Hospital Sugar Land, TX Jul 01, 2013 $99,000
Clinical Specialist The Methodist Hospital Houston, TX Jul 01, 2013 $99,000
Associate-Clinical Specialist BOOZ Allen Hamilton Inc. Lorton, VA Jan 15, 2014 $96,142
Clinical Specialist Ivoclar Vivadent Inc. Amherst, NY Dec 19, 2012 $94,645
Senior Clinical Specialist Medtronic, Inc. Mounds View, MN Jul 09, 2016 $94,554
Pharmacy Clinical Specialist West Virginia University Hospitals Inc. Morgantown, WV Oct 01, 2015 $84,760 -
$107,890
Clinical Specialist Brainlab, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 27, 2014 $84,500
Senior Clinical Specialist MRI Interventions, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 19, 2016 $84,157 -
$92,700
Clinical Specialist Ivoclar Vivadent Inc. Amherst, NY Sep 28, 2016 $84,136
Senior Clinical Specialist MRI Interventions, Inc. Houston, TX May 06, 2013 $83,554 -
$90,000
Senior Clinical Specialist MRI Interventions, Inc. Houston, TX May 01, 2013 $83,554 -
$90,000
Clinical Specialist Medtronic, Inc. Mounds View, MN Sep 07, 2013 $83,500
Clinical Specialist Medtronic, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Jan 09, 2016 $82,944

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Top Skills for A Clinical Specialist

  1. Immunotherapy Treatment
  2. Patient Care
  3. Clinical Staff
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided patient education on administering injections with the medication, increased compliance throughout the duration of their immunotherapy treatment.
  • Created reference for pharmacy and nursing for preferred sequencing of chemotherapy combinations improving patient care and safety.
  • Provided leadership and oversight for clinical staff in the implantation and interrogation of cardiac rhythm devices throughout their organizations.
  • Organized educational programs for hospital staff along with physicians.
  • Administered quality allergy testing; formulated and prepared custom allergy medications.

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Top 10 Best States for Clinical Specialists

  1. Alaska
  2. Oregon
  3. Minnesota
  4. Hawaii
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Nevada
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Texas
  10. Arizona
  • (52 jobs)
  • (222 jobs)
  • (381 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (528 jobs)
  • (107 jobs)
  • (134 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)
  • (976 jobs)
  • (316 jobs)

Clinical Specialist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 6,352 Clinical Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Clinical Specialist Resume

View Resume Examples

Clinical Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

62.6%

Male

26.1%

Unknown

11.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.5%

French

4.2%

Hindi

3.0%

Russian

2.4%

German

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Gujarati

1.2%

Hmong

1.2%

Tagalog

1.2%

Italian

1.2%

Portuguese

1.2%

Chinese

1.2%

Japanese

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Estonian

0.6%

Marathi

0.6%

Somali

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%

Korean

0.6%
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Clinical Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.8%

Walden University

6.4%

Capella University

5.3%

Temple University

5.1%

Grand Canyon University

4.8%

Webster University

4.8%

University of Florida

4.5%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Ohio State University

4.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.3%

University of Texas at Austin

4.0%

Northeastern University

4.0%

Texas Woman's University

3.8%

Wayne State University

3.8%

New York University

3.8%

University of Central Florida

3.7%

Liberty University

3.7%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.5%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.4%

University of Kentucky

3.2%
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Majors

Nursing

26.8%

Business

12.2%

Social Work

6.6%

Health Care Administration

5.7%

Psychology

5.6%

Medical Technician

5.5%

Biology

5.3%

Pharmacy

4.5%

Management

3.1%

Counseling Psychology

3.0%

Medical Assisting Services

2.7%

Mental Health Counseling

2.6%

Physical Therapy

2.6%

School Counseling

2.2%

Public Health

2.1%

Kinesiology

2.0%

Health Sciences And Services

2.0%

Clinical Psychology

1.9%

Education

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.5%

Masters

31.2%

Other

12.8%

Associate

8.0%

Doctorate

5.5%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

1.5%

License

0.8%
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