Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salary

Clinical Nurse Specialists in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — more than half have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $61K to $118K per year, median earnings come to $82K annually. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. The vast majority of Clinical Nurse Specialists (89 percent) who responded to the survey are women. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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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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As Clinical Nurse Specialists make advancements in their career path, their salaries may not change right away. For example, the higher-level Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner position pays around the same amount as the Clinical Nurse Specialist job on average. A lot of Clinical Nurse Specialists advance their careers by becoming Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners and Family Nurse Practitioners. However, those positions offer $6K less and $3K less per year on average.

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.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $78K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $81K. Clinical Nurse Specialists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $88K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $92K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

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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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