A little over a half of Clinical Nurse Specialists in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $59K to $112K per year, but median earnings come to around $83K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$62,296 - $108,300
$62K
$83K
$110K
MEDIAN: $82,509
10%
50%
90%

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$19.31 - $54.63
$19
$40
$55
MEDIAN: $39.00
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
$62,296 - $108,300  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,967  
Profit Sharing
$1,000  
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).
)
$59,127 - $111,576  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 254
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$19.31 - $54.63  
   
Overtime
$11.50 - $70.00  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,967  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,000  
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).
)
$59,127 - $111,576  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 112

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United States (change)

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)


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At the upper end, Clinical Nurse Specialists who move into a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner role may earn a little more as the latter position has a median salary of $93K per year. Many Clinical Nurse Specialists go on to become Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners or Family Nurse Practitioners despite the fact that median compensation in those roles is reportedly $6K lower and $2K 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 Labor & Delivery, Birthing, Acute Care, Intensive Care Unit, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 14 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Geriatrics and Emergency Room. The majority of those who know Acute Care also know Medicine / Surgery and Oncology.

Pay by Experience Level for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

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


Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $78K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $85K on average. Clinical Nurse Specialists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $83K. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $91K.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Gender

Female
92 %
Male
8 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 36 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
29%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries




National Average
$84,000


Skills That Affect Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries





Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
up arrow 4%

Operating Room / OR
up arrow 2%

Case Management
up arrow 1%

Oncology
0%

Pediatrics
0%

National Average
$84,000



Wound Care
up arrow 3%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 36 votes.

Gender

Female
92 %
Male
8 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
29%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 88%
dental benefits
Dental: 76%
vision benefits
Vision: 66%
dental benefits
None: 11%
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