Clinical Nurse Training

What is a Clinical Nurse Specialist?

A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice nurse who focuses on a specific patient population. A CNS’s career can be very versatile.

A CNS can work in many different medical environments (like in the emergency room, operating room or critical care), can specialize in certain types of diseases (like cardiovascular disease or diabetes), and can focus on a variety of procedures (like clinical or surgical).

A CNS could work within a nursing home, urgent care clinic, emergency room, health care agency, or long-term care facility, as well as any other patient care facility.

The roles of a CNS usually fall into five main categories: clinical practice, consulting, management, teaching, and research.

A CNS plays a similar role to nurse practitioners; however, the job of a CNS is more complex. CNS must be able to research patients’ problems and create a solution for the nursing staff. Although a CNS can be involved in patient care, a CNS is much more likely to be responsible for all of the research and education required to ensure that the patients receive the best care from the entire nursing staff.

What are the educational requirements of a Clinical Nurse Specialist?

Because a Clinical Nurse Specialist is an advanced type of nursing, it is typically required that those looking to become a CNS have a master’s degree. A CNS must hold a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with the specialty of their choosing. Some nursing schools offer traditional programs as well as flexible online training programs.

A CNS is required to be a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) as well.

In many areas, a CNS is required to complete additional certification in their area of expertise.

What is the work environment of a Clinical Nurse Specialist?

The typical working environment for CNS is a hospital or other medical facility. Individuals may work in a health care agency, urgent care clinic, nursing home, emergency room, or long-term care facility.

CNS will often specialize in certain areas of the hospital or in certain types of disease.

What is the Average Salary of a Clinical Nurse Specialist?

A Clinical Nurse Specialist jobs is one of the highest paying careers within the nursing field. There are over 2.5 million nurse, making it the largest workforce in the healthcare industry.

The average salary for CNS roles is around $70,000 – 80,000. It’s difficult to quote an average salary across all CNS roles, since pay varies according to the subspecialty as well, but there are many positions paying up to $90,000 or more with experience.

Salary Report (United States)
Get a FREE Salary Report