Clinical Nurse Specialists

Plan, direct, or coordinate the daily patient care activities in a clinical practice. Ensure adherence to established clinical policies, protocols, regulations, and standards.

Median Annual Wage: $66,640

Education: Master's degree (88%); Post-master's certificate (8%); Doctoral degree (4%)

Projected Growth: Faster than average (15% to 21%)

Related Job Titles: Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist; Clinical Nurse Specialist; Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist; Cardiology Clinical Nurse Specialist; Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Nurse Specialist; Emergency Department Clinical Nurse Specialist; Nurse Clinician; Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist; Board Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist, Diabetes; Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Clinical Nurse Specialists.

More Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Careers

  • Provide consultation to other health care providers in areas such as patient discharge, patient care, or clinical procedures.
  • Develop or assist others in development of care and treatment plans.
  • Develop and maintain departmental policies, procedures, objectives, or patient care standards based on evidence-based practice guidelines or expert opinion.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in nursing.
  • Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice or organizational systems.
  • Design evaluation programs regarding the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice or organizational systems.
  • Develop, implement, or evaluate standards of nursing practice in specialty area such as pediatrics, acute care, and geriatrics.
  • Plan, evaluate, or modify treatment programs based on information gathered by observing and interviewing patients, or by analyzing patient records.
  • Direct or supervise nursing care staff in the provision of patient therapy.
  • Instruct nursing staff in areas such as the assessment, development, implementation and evaluation of disability, illness, management, technology, or resources.
  • Monitor or evaluate medical conditions of patients in collaboration with other health care professionals.
  • Design patient education programs that include information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.
  • Provide specialized direct and indirect care to inpatients and outpatients within a designated specialty such as obstetrics, neurology, oncology, or neonatal care.
  • Maintain departmental policies, procedures, objectives, or infection control standards.
  • Make clinical recommendations to physicians, other health care providers, insurance companies, patients, or health care organizations.
  • Present clients with information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.
  • Perform discharge planning for patients.
  • Write nursing orders.
  • Observe, interview, and assess patients to identify care needs.
  • Lead nursing department implementation of, or compliance with, regulatory or accreditation processes.
  • Participate in clinical research projects such as by reviewing protocols, reviewing patient records, monitoring compliance, and meeting with regulatory authorities.
  • Identify training needs or conduct training sessions for nursing students or medical staff.
  • Chair nursing departments or committees.
  • Develop nursing service philosophies, goals, policies, priorities, or procedures.
  • Coordinate or conduct educational programs or in-service training sessions on topics such as clinical procedures.
  • Teach patient education programs that include information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.
  • Prepare reports to document patients' care activities.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Clinical Nurse Specialists.

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Clinical Nurse Specialists.

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