Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salary

Clinical Nurse Specialists in the United States with more than 10 years of experience in their profession represent slightly more than half of Clinical Nurse Specialists. Salaries average out to around $82K per year and spread from $62K to $118K per year. Cash earnings for Clinical Nurse Specialists — which occasionally include more than $6K from bonuses and more than $15K from profit sharing — stretch from around $62K to approximately $118K. Geographic location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Clinical Nurse Specialists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The vast majority of Clinical Nurse Specialists (89 percent) who participated in the survey are women. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$60,499 - $111,096
(Median)
$60K
$82K
$110K
MEDIAN: $81,502
10%
50%
90%

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$29.91 - $63.88
(Median)
$30
$41
$64
MEDIAN: $40
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$60,499 - $111,096  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,833  
Profit Sharing
$0.21 - $14,681  
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).
)
$61,654 - $118,370  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 473
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$31$62$93
Hourly Rate
$29.91 - $63.88  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $91.23  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,833  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.21 - $14,681  
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).
)
$61,654 - $118,370  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 186
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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 tend not to experience significant pay changes as they move up the career ladder to roles like Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. The two jobs pay about the same on average. Many Clinical Nurse Specialists advance into roles as Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners or Family Nurse Practitioners, but the median salaries are $7K lower and $3K lower, respectively.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)


Clinical Nurse Specialists report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Psychiatric, Emergency Room, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Operating Room / OR are correlated to pay that is above average. 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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. 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 $80K. On average, Clinical Nurse Specialists make $87K following one to two decades on the job. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Clinical Nurse Specialists with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $92K.

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Experience Affects Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries



National Average
$83,000



Skills That Affect Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries



Labor & Delivery, Birthing
up arrow 2%

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
up arrow 2%

Operating Room / OR
up arrow 2%

Acute Care
up arrow 1%

Medicine / Surgery
up arrow 1%

Case Management
up arrow 1%

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
0%

National Average
$83,000

Geriatrics
up arrow 1%

Oncology
up arrow 1%

Wound Care
up arrow 2%

Pediatrics
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 123 votes.

Gender

Female
89 %
Male
11 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
21%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
31%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 84% dental benefits Dental: 77%
vision benefits Vision: 63% employee benefits None: 13%
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