Clinical Nurse Specialist Career

Career Description:

Advancing one’s career from a registered nurse to a clinical nurse specialist or CNS allows one to perform more advanced roles. A clinical nurse specialist provides specialized and expert care.  One is responsible for clinical practice, consultations, prescribing medication, management, research and education.  He focuses on a specific area of nursing or a specific patient population.  The clinical nurse handles specific types of diseases, work in various medical environments and do different types of procedures.

How to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist

To become a clinical nurse specialist, it is a must that one starts as a registered nurse. Choose a field of interest and take courses that will help one specialize in that specific field. One may choose to specialize in fields such as neonatal health, cardiac health, mental health, oncology and other specific medical fields.  Then he can pursue a master’s degree in nursing.  A choice to move up to take a doctorate degree is also beneficial since this is a requirement of some employers.  One must obtain a certification through any credentialing or certification body.  One has to maintain his license and certifications.  He must take continuing education and training programs to do this.  Training programs allow a clinical nurse specialist update and acquire skills needed in this field.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Courses, training, programs

Clinical nursing programs include topics in pharmacology, advanced practice nursing, advanced assessment, diagnostics, development and management.  Courses allow one to focus in specific areas such as family health, community health, intensive care, surgery and pediatrics.

TOP 5 colleges/Universities

Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania

University of Washington, Washington

University of California-San Francisco, California

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Clinical Nurse Specialist Jobs, opportunities, salaries/pay

A registered nurse may choose to advance to a clinical nurse specialist position within the hospital, clinic, medical facility, school or government agency he works in.  But having enough years of experience and expertise one can explore other employment options.  The clinical nurse specialist has he opportunity to earn from $65,000 to $110,000 per year depending on one’s specialty and location.

Category: Nursing Careers

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