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Clinical Nurse Specialist

BSN + MSN or PhD

A Clinical Nurse Specialist is an expert at diagnosing and treating illness in their area of expertise. Clinical Nurse Specialists focus on one of three main specialty areas: patients and their families, nurse management, and administration. The rest of the nursing staff looks to the Clinical Nurse Specialist for guidance in their practice and help with efficiency in the workplace.

Things You'll Do:

  • Clinical practice
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Consulting
  • Management

Your job characteristics:

  • Multifaceted
  • Patient-facing
  • Managerial

How You'll Get There
  • Get Your
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Pass Your
    National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
  • You can start working as a Registered Nurse.
    More about becoming an RN ›
  • Get Your
    Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an emphasis on a Clinical Nurse Specialty
  • Pass Your
    National Nurses Licensing Exam
  • Pass Your
    Certified Nurse Specialist (CNS) certification exam
  • Become a
    Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

More About this Specialty
  • Where You
    Can Work

    • Hospitals
    • Outpatient facilities
    • Home care systems

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  • How Much You
    Can Make

      an average salary of

      $62K - $79K

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  • What Else You
    Can Expect

    • 19% more jobs from 2008-2018
    • You’ll be making primary decisions and solving problems regarding patients.
    • Clinical Nurse Specialists are in high demand because they can provide specialized care for patients for less than the cost of hiring a physician.

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