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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

  • $76,060

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Specialist Do

A Clinical Specialist’s role is to assist in the selling of particular medical devices that need more detailed and complex knowledge. They work in laboratories as part of a team of technologists, technicians, and supervisors.

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.


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 Specialist jobs

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Clinical Specialist Career Paths

Clinical Specialist
Clinical Manager Nursing Director Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Clinical Pharmacist Clinical Coordinator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Clinical Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Clinical Consultant Clinical Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Clinical Pharmacist Operations Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Sales Consultant Sales Trainer
District Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Territory Sales Manager Specialty Representative
Hospital Account Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse Career Manager
Managed Care Director
8 Yearsyrs
Clinical Consultant Clinical Director
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Program Manager Business Development Manager
National Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Family Nurse Practitioner Staff Nurse
Patient Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Clinical Manager Practice Manager
Practice Administrator
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Accounts Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialty Sales Representative Sales Trainer District Business Manager
Regional Business Director
12 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Operations Manager Regional Sales Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinical Nurse Specialist Staff Nurse Clinical Research Coordinator
Senior Clinical Research Associate
10 Yearsyrs
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Clinical Specialist Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Hindi

  • German

  • Vietnamese

  • Gujarati

  • Russian

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • Japanese

  • Hebrew

  • Estonian

  • Marathi

  • Somali

  • Dutch

  • Hmong

  • Korean

  • Bengali

  • Dakota

  • Carrier

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Clinical Specialist

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Clinical Specialist Education

Clinical Specialist

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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 Dec 23, 2015 $140,670
Pharmacy Clinical Specialist-Nights St. Joseph Regional Health Center Bryan, TX Apr 27, 2016 $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 Nov 01, 2011 $105,000
Assistant Clinical Specialist University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN Apr 01, 2013 $105,000
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
Clinical Specialist Ivoclar Vivadent Inc. Amherst, NY Sep 03, 2013 $94,328
Clinical Specialist New York University Hospitals Center New York, NY Jul 19, 2012 $85,000
Clinical Specialist Medtronic, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2015 $85,000
Clinical Specialist Medtronic, Inc. Burlingame, CA Sep 01, 2015 $85,000
Pharmacy Clinical Specialist West Virginia University Hospitals Inc. Morgantown, WV Oct 01, 2015 $84,760 -
Clinical Specialist Brainlab, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 27, 2014 $84,500
Senior Clinical Specialist MRI Interventions, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 19, 2016 $84,157 -
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 -

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Top Skills for A Clinical Specialist


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Top Clinical Specialist Skills

  1. Immunotherapy Treatment
  2. Procedures
  3. Territory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Educated patients on immunotherapy treatment and medications.
  • Develop best practice models, policies, and procedures in collaboration with leadership, educators, and staff.
  • Assumed the responsibility of territory District Manager during scheduled time off.
  • Implant and clinical support of Pacemaker and Implantable cardiac defibrillator devices.
  • Work with O.R Supervisors, Purchasing Managers and hospital staff to secure evaluations and product sales.

Top Clinical Specialist Employers

Clinical Specialist Videos

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