Nursing
Clinical Nurse Specialist

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Salary: $48,000 - $68,000
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Hourly: $31.68 - $42.42
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Outlook: 3 Stars
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Length of Training: 6+ years
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Career Explorer
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Roadmap
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The role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) involves advanced expertise in a particular practice area of nursing. As the title implies, a CNS has a clinical specialty such as perinatal or adult health nursing. The role evolved in response to changes in healthcare technology that required nurses with highly specialized knowledge and skills. These nursing professionals deliver direct patient care, teach staff and patients, consult with other professionals, and provide supervision in the workplace. Depending on the specialty they choose, CNSs may have an extended scope of practice authority.

Areas Of Specialization
A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) may specialize in any of the following areas: addiction disorders, critical care, adult health, child health, community health, emergency care, gerontological care, high-risk maternity care, maternal-child health, medical-surgical, neonatal, oncology, pediatric, perioperative, psychiatric/mental health and women’s health. The program of study must be at least one academic year in length and may include a formal preceptorship.

Work Environment

Most CNSs work in hospital settings. They may work in medical-surgical, pediatric, perinatal, geriatric, psychiatric, rehabilitation, critical-care and emergency/trauma units. CNSs may also work in public health clinics, home health agencies and schools systems.