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Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are advanced practice RNs who provide patient care, manage, and train other nurses and conduct research in their clinical practice area of choice. These expert nurses are increasingly critical members of care teams in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and other health settings.
When searching for clinical nurse specialist jobs, you may find positions listed under titles such as:
Employers will often advertise for CNS positions by specialty.
These highly trained nurses typically pursue specializations in one of three primary areas:
Many clinical nurse specialists supervise other nurses to ensure quality care for their patients.
Other duties included in the clinical nurse specialist job description may include:
In most states, clinical nurse specialists who have a master's degree or doctorate in their field can apply for the ability to prescribe medications for their patients.
As you gain experience, you may be eligible for more senior roles in nursing research, management, or administration. For example, you might become involved in directing studies, hiring and training new nurses, or collaborating with other health professionals to establish clinical standards for your nursing specialty at your institution.
Figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2015 indicate that the median salary for all advanced practice nurses, including clinical nurse specialists, was approximately $104,740 per year. The BLS projects that jobs in this field will increase by 31 percent over the 10-year period between 2014 and 2024.
CNS salaries can vary significantly depending on geographic location and the institution at which you work.
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