Clinical Nurse Specialist Career Information and Education Requirements

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Below are a few of the most common specialties an settings within the field of nursing where you’ll find Clinical Nurse Specialists.

  • Emergency medicine, intensive care, etc.
  • Women’s health, geriatric, pediatrics, etc.
  • Specific conditions includ cancer, diabetes, chronic pain management, cardiovascular health, etc.
  • Specific procedures and treatments such as rehabilitation, psychiatric, etc.

Clinical nurse specialists fulfill many traditional nursing duties, but they also specialize in disease prevention, assisting people with disabilities, and diagnosing medical conditions. They administer direct patient care, work as consultants for healthcare providers, and actively participate in enhancing medical care delivery systems.

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Clinical Nurse Specialist Working Conditions

Nationwide, there about 69,000 clinical nurse specialists that work in various settings in the healthcare industry. Salaries for these specialists fall anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 annually. Salary and compensation level are influenced by specialty, geographic region, experience and employer. There are numerous job opportunities available for clinical nurse specialists since there currently are not enough of these practitioners to fill open positions.

Academic Requirements

To enroll in a clinical nurse specialist degree program, you must satisfy all the requirements to become a registered nurse (RN) and have a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Following successful completion of a CNS degree program, you may be required to become certified if you are specializing in a specific area of clinical nursing. However, in most other areas of the field the only licensing requirements are those set by your state board.


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