Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salary

Clinical Nurse Specialists in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — a little over a half have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $62K to $119K per year, median earnings come to $81K per year. Total cash compensation for Clinical Nurse Specialists runs from $62K to $119K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $6K and profit sharing that can reach almost $15K. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Among survey respondents, women are more common than men; 89 percent of Clinical Nurse Specialists are female. Most Clinical Nurse Specialists like their work and job satisfaction is high. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$60,446 - $111,198
(Median)
$60K
$81K
$110K
MEDIAN: $81,461
10%
50%
90%

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$29.90 - $63.96
(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
$60,446 - $111,198  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,847  
Profit Sharing
$0.14 - $14,795  
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).
)
$61,603 - $118,823  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 470
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
$29.90 - $63.96  
   
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 - $5,847  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.14 - $14,795  
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).
)
$61,603 - $118,823  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 184
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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)


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Psychiatric, Emergency Room, Labor & Delivery, Birthing, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 10 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Pediatrics. Most people skilled in Acute Care are similarly competent in 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.


Clinical Nurse Specialists with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $78K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $80K. Clinical Nurse Specialists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $87K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $92K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

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Experience Affects Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries



National Average
$83,000



Skills That Affect Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries


Emergency Room (ER)
up arrow 4%

Labor & Delivery, Birthing
up arrow 4%

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
up arrow 2%

Operating Room / OR
up arrow 2%

Acute Care
up arrow 1%

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
up arrow 1%

Case Management
up arrow 1%

Medicine / Surgery
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 117 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
23%
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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