Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salary

With a little more than half of Clinical Nurse Specialists in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Clinical Nurse Specialists is $82K annually and can range from $61K on the lower end to $118K per year near the higher end. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. The majority of Clinical Nurse Specialists claim high levels of job satisfaction. Female Clinical Nurse Specialists far outnumber their male contemporaries among survey respondents. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$61,277 - $112,051
(Median)
$61K
$82K
$110K
MEDIAN: $81,952
10%
50%
90%

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$29.26 - $62.08
(Median)
$29
$40
$62
MEDIAN: $40
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$61,277 - $112,051  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,134  
Profit Sharing
$0.21 - $15,101  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$61,470 - $117,781  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 471
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$31$62$93
Hourly Rate
$29.26 - $62.08  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $90.76  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,134  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.21 - $15,101  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$61,470 - $117,781  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 197
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Job Description for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Clinical nurse specialists (CNS) are responsible for clinical care and nursing practices in a specialized unit or clinic. Clinical nurse specialists are a type of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) with a focus on the management and improvement of nursing care and patient satisfaction within a particular clinical department such as pediatrics, emergency medicine, or oncology. They teach new techniques for patient care to nurses under their supervision, tailoring their methods according to department-specific needs. Clinical nurse specialists analyze patient results (in terms of both satisfaction and medical outcomes) and use this analysis to provide feedback and develop policies within their department. They work closely with other medical professionals to assess current patient care standards and find potential improvements. Clinical nurse specialists also provide clinical service directly to patients, giving medical assessments and nursing care.

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Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Tasks

  • Educate patients, community and staff.
  • Conduct research in field of specialty.
  • Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment and counsel specific patient population.
  • Maintain clinical practice and case management.

Common Career Paths for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)


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Clinical Nurse Specialists' salaries tend to stay somewhat constant even when they advance into higher-level positions like Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. On average, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners get paid about the same as Clinical Nurse Specialists do. Clinical Nurse Specialists most often move into Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner roles. However, the former pays $6K less on average, and the latter pays $3K less.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)


Clinical Nurse Specialists seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Labor & Delivery, Birthing, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Psychiatric, and Emergency Room are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 7 percent. Most people who know Acute Care also know Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Pay by Experience Level for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Clinical Nurse Specialists, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $78K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $81K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $88K. After two decades in the workforce, the average Clinical Nurse Specialist generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $92K.

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Experience Affects Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries



National Average
$83,000



Skills That Affect Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries


Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
up arrow 5%

Psychiatric
up arrow 4%

Acute Care
up arrow 3%

Emergency Room (ER)
up arrow 3%

Operating Room / OR
up arrow 2%

Medicine / Surgery
up arrow 1%

Case Management
up arrow 1%

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
0%

National Average
$83,000

Oncology
up arrow 1%

Geriatrics
up arrow 2%

Pediatrics
up arrow 2%

Wound Care
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 97 votes.

Gender

Female
89 %
Male
11 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
31%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 84%
dental benefits
Dental: 76%
medical benefits
Vision: 64%
dental benefits
None: 13%
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