A clinical nurse specialist obtains many years of education and experience in order to earn this title. They are the individuals that provide specialized care to patients in a variety of settings. Clinical nurse specialists are one of the most versatile nursing professionals in the healthcare field. This rewarding career comes with a substantial amount of training and experience that nurses who want to increase their salaries and responsibilities are eager to work toward in their careers.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Job Description
Clinical nurse specialists (CNS) are advanced practice nurses who provide specialized care for patients with diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They can work in emergency rooms or in critical care providing their services. These versatile nurses focus of many medical procedures, and they are in great demand in the field of medicine.
The responsibilities of clinical nurse specialists include teaching, clinical practice, ethical decision-making, management, consulting, expert coaching, collaboration, professional and clinical leadership, and research. Their ability to assess the needs of patients tends to be more focused since they specialized in particular areas. The skills of a clinical nurse specialist are greater than the skills of even the most skilled nurses due to their specializations.
The specialization areas clinical nurse specialists choose from may include Perinatal Nursing, Acute Care Nursing, Infectious Disease Nursing, Adult Nursing, Occupational Health Nursing, Parent-Child Nursing, Cardiovascular Nursing, Women’s Health Nursing, Oncology Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, and Community Health Nursing.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Education
Clinical nurse specialists must have a high level of education. Employers require a minimum degree of a master’s degree in nursing, but some nurses choose to pursue the doctorate degree to increase their employment options.
Some students choose to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing before pursing the advanced degree. They gain experience and clinical practice that will come in handy once they become certified clinical nurse specialists.
Possible courses necessary to become a clinical nurse specialist include Nursing Research, Bioethics, Pharmacology in Advanced Practice, and Concepts in Integrated Health Care. The courses may discuss nursing theories and practices and provide in-depth training related to the particular area of specialization in which clinical nurse specialists have.
Nurses must also complete a clinical practicum that involved completing a specific number of clinical hours that each state specifies. Educational programs must meet the established standards set by the state.
Nurses are required to obtain the credentials of registered nurse and maintain these credentials by completing a specific number of continuing education hours set by the state. Nurses must take the certification examination administered by a certifying body and maintain the certification by completing continuing education hours as specified by the state in which they practice. The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists has a complete list of certifications and specialties.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Salary
Over 69,000 clinical nurse specialists work in the United States, and there is a need for thousands more. They can work in a variety of settings, including long-term care facilities, hospitals, and other healthcare agencies. Quite a few clinical nurse specialists work independently, and they make higher salaries than average.
The average nurse salary of a clinical nurse specialist is $80,975. The lowest 10% earn wages of $50,000 annually, and the highest 10% earn wages of over $100,000 annually. Location, experience, and certification play an important role in the salaries that clinical nurse specialists receive. The benefits that they receive are extremely generous. They include excellent medical coverage, vacation time, and 401k plans.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Jobs Outlook
As with every area of nursing, clinical nurse specialists do not have to worry about the recession affecting their career. The shortage of nurses and the increase in medical advancements combined create a substantial need for certified clinical nurse specialists nursing jobs. Healthcare fields like nursing continue to grow, and there is a great need for the specialized care that clinical nurse specialists provide.
The complex occupation requires experts in particular areas of nursing, which makes a clinical nurse specialist vital to nursing and in higher demand than other nurses are. In addition to the specialized care that they offer, clinical nurse specialist educate, research and problem solve in medical facilities and hospitals. The anticipated growth will provide great employment options for clinical nurse specialists for years to come.
Becoming a clinical nurse specialist can prove to be an exciting, rewarding, and stable career for interested nurses and those looking for a new career. It is necessary to receive additional schooling to become a clinical nurse specialist, but the increased employment opportunities and salaries make this career one of the hottest careers in the medical field.