Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Career Resource Center
Your guide to clinical nurse specialist careers, schools and degrees.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Career Overview
A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice nurse whose care focuses on a specific patient population. A CNS can specialize in certain types of diseases, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, can work in many different medical environments (such as an operating room, emergency room or critical care), and can focus on a variety of procedures (such as surgical or clinical). Needless to say, the CNS career can be quite versatile.
Five general duties make up a clinical nurse specialist's daily routine:
- Clinical practice
CNSs assessment skills tend to be more focused than a nurse practitioner's, and they are able to provide more expertise than even expert level staff nurses (who typically have their responsibilities divided into many different sub-areas).
Use our career and education guide to find articles on the following CNS-oriented subjects:
Career and Salary Overview
Get a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) career overview, including career outlook and salary information. Learn how the common thread for all clinical nurse specialists is that they have the skills and knowledge to provide not only diagnosis and treatment for patients, but also expert consultation to other nurses.
The first step to a successful CNS career is to find the right clinical nurse specialist school for you. Learn about CNS school prerequisites and the importance of attending an accredited CNS school, and get general CNS coursework information.
Education and Training
Learn what kind of clinical nurse specialist training you need to be well equipped with in-depth nursing knowledge and expertise in your field of study. Get a clinical nurse specialist training course overview and learn about alternative training programs.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Careers
There are many different clinical nurse specialist career possibilities, but there also some similarities between all the positions. Learn about the typical everyday tasks in the CNS career and the personality traits typical of successful clinical nurse specialists.
About CNS Specialties & Work Settings
Get an overview of clinical nurse specialist careers and specialties to decide which branch of the career is right for you. This article will help you decide whether you want to become a clinical nurse specialist and will give you a glimpse into the varied specialties.
The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Role
CNSs are prepared to assume the role of case manager so that they can organize and coordinate their practice's services and resources. They also work to control costs, which gives them a powerful role in managed care and the health care practice.
Their educational role is an important one too, and it covers patient education, nursing staff education, non-nursing members of the team, community education, and teaching of undergraduate and graduate level nursing students. The CNS role remains an excellent career choice for the clinically excellent nurse who wants to both positively influence one-on-one patient-care situations and improve the processes that compose health care systems.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Work Settings and Specialties
CNSs may practice independently, or they may work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and for various health care agencies. CNSs choose an area of specialization, many of which are listed below:
- Acute Care Nursing
- Adult Nursing
- Cardiovascular Nursing
- Community Health Nursing
- Geriatric Nursing
- Home Health Nursing
- Infectious Disease Nursing
- Neonatal Nursing
- Occupational Health Nursing
- Oncology Nursing
- Parent-Child Nursing
- Perinatal Nursing
- Psychiatric Nursing
- Rehabilitation Nursing
- School Health Nursing
- Women's Health Nursing
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Education Resources
Career & Degree Information
- Career and Salary Overview
- Clinical Nurse Specialist Schools
- Education and Training
- Clinical Nurse Specialist Careers
- Specialties & Work Settings
- State Boards of Nursing
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