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Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical Nurse Specialist

A clinical nurse specialist or referred to as (CNS) is an advanced practice nurse and has hands-on experience, advanced knowledge, and a certification in a certain specialty. Becoming a clinical nurse specialist is following by extensive training and graduate-level nursing education that prepares them to adequately assess, diagnose, and handle patient problems. The typical nurse practitioner is tasked with taking a patient’s health history and following up with them as their primary care provider, but a clinical nurse specialist tends to focus on research, education, and consulting.

Duties of a Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical nurse specialists are responsible for several things, mostly but not limited to directing nursing staff, in terms of teaching and supervising, in a clinical practice setting such as a hospital, hospice, clinic, or home. The following is a full list of all the duties they would carry out:

  • Work with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Establish nursing policies or standards.
  • Establish nursing policies or standards.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Maintain medical or professional knowledge.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Support the professional development of others.
  • Follow protocols or regulations for healthcare activities.
  • Establish nursing policies or standards.
  • Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues.
  • Develop medical treatment plans.
  • Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
  • Develop medical treatment plans.
  • Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues.
  • Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health.
  • Develop procedures to evaluate organizational activities.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, and other medical professionals.
  • Manage healthcare operations.
  • Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.
  • Monitor medical facility activities to ensure adherence to standards or regulations.
  • Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
  • Manage healthcare operations.
  • Develop educational programs.
  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Prescribe medications.
  • Prepare reports that summarize patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Develop medical treatment plans.
  • Teach classes in an area of specialization.

Salary for a Clinical Nurse Specialists 2021

According to, salary.guide, the annual wage for a clinical nurse specialist can range from $53,410 to $116,230. The following is a more in-depth chart.

Clinical Nurse Specialists Salary 2021 – How Much Do Clinical Nurse Specialists Make?

How To Become A Clinical Nurse Specialists

To start off the path to becoming a CNS, education is the first step, and the following is a list of all the educational requirements needed:

  •  Completion of the NCLEX-RN exam
  • Achieved active and unrestricted RN license
  • Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree
  • You must hold an MSN or DNP degree (DNP if you plan on focusing on research)
  • Required courses in graduate program
    • Advanced pharmacology
    • Advanced pathophysiology
    • Advanced physical/health assessment
    • Theory and ethics
    • Research methods
    • 500 supervised clinical hours required

A clinical nurse specialist needs to have an unrestricted and active RN license, following a graduate-level degree (i.e., MSN, DNP) and certifications for their specialty area.

For more information regarding nursing salaries, visit salary.guide