Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salary

Clinical Nurse Specialists in the United States with more than 10 years of experience in their profession represent a little over a half of Clinical Nurse Specialists. Salaries average out to around $87K per year and spread from $59K to $117K per year. Residence and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$64,096 - $110,464
$64K
$87K
$110K
MEDIAN: $86,845
10%
50%
90%

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$15.72 - $56.25
$16
$40
$56
MEDIAN: $40.08
10%
50%
90%

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$0$113K
Salary $64,096 - $110,464
Bonus $0.00 - $14,967
Profit Sharing $650
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).
)
$55,809 - $113,415
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 12 Oct 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 260
Hourly Data $0$76
Hourly Rate $15.72 - $56.25
Overtime $10.57 - $76.03
Annual Data $0$113K
Bonus $0.00 - $14,967
Profit Sharing $650
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).
)
$55,809 - $113,415
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 12 Oct 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 139

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

Common Career Paths for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)


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As Clinical Nurse Specialists transition into upper-level roles like Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, it's possible that they won't see a change in salary. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners earn the same amount as Clinical Nurse Specialists on average. Many Clinical Nurse Specialists advance into roles as Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners or Family Nurse Practitioners, but the median salaries are $9K lower and $5K lower, respectively.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Job Listings

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, Intensive Care Unit, Acute Care, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Wound Care, Psychiatric, and Geriatrics. Most people who know Acute Care also know Medicine / Surgery and Oncology.

Pay by Experience Level for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Pay by Experience for a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) has a positive trend. An entry-level Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $80,000 based on 114 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $85,000 based on 102 salaries. An experienced Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $84,000 based on 117 salaries. A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $91,000 based on 100 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $87,005

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Relative to their peers in the rest of the country, professionals in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago (the largest American cities) reap salaries that surpass the national average. Clinical Nurse Specialists' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Clinical Nurse Specialists in Charlotte bring in salaries that are 25 percent lower than the national average. Employers pay around 15 percent less in Orlando and 6 percent less in Indianapolis, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)?

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in Pittsburgh:
"Positive and Negative."
Pros: Flexibility; supportive supervisor; autonomy.
Cons: Politics; poor leadership in Nursing admin; low morale of staff; high turnover, esp. Of top performing staff.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 45 votes.
Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
26%

Experience Affects Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries

▲5%

National Average
$87,000

▼2%

▼3%

▼8%

Skills That Affect Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Salaries



▼0%

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
▼0%

National Average
$87,000

▼1%

Operating Room / OR
▼2%

▼3%

Case Management
▼3%

Medicine / Surgery
▼4%


▼6%

▼6%

Wound Care
▼6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 45 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
26%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 82%
vision benefits
Vision: 74%
no benefits
None: 10%