Clinical Nurse Specialists

Health Science > Therapeutic Services

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Plan, direct, or coordinate the daily patient care activities in a clinical practice. Ensure adherence to established clinical policies, protocols, regulations, and standards.

Common job titles of Clinical Nurse Specialists include:

Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 88.46% said they needed a Master's Degree.

  • 7.69% said they needed a Post-Master's Certificate.


    Monitor or evaluate medical conditions of patients in collaboration with other health care professionals.

    Present clients with information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.

    Plan, evaluate, or modify treatment programs, based on information gathered by observing and interviewing patients or by analyzing patient records.

    Maintain departmental policies, procedures, objectives, or infection control standards.

    Develop or assist others in development of care and treatment plans.

    Provide consultation to other health care providers in areas such as patient discharge, patient care, or clinical procedures.

    Collaborate with other health care professionals and service providers to ensure optimal patient care.

    Direct or supervise nursing care staff in the provision of patient therapy.

    Provide specialized direct and indirect care to inpatients and outpatients within a designated specialty, such as obstetrics, neurology, oncology, or neonatal care.

    Write nursing orders.

    Prepare reports to document patients' care activities.

    Perform discharge planning for patients.

    Identify training needs or conduct training sessions for nursing students or medical staff.

    Instruct nursing staff in areas such as the assessment, development, implementation and evaluation of disability, illness, management, technology, or resources.

    Observe, interview, and assess patients to identify care needs.

    Chair nursing departments or committees.

    Lead nursing department implementation of, or compliance with, regulatory or accreditation processes.

    Design evaluation programs regarding the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice or organizational systems.

    Develop and maintain departmental policies, procedures, objectives, or patient care standards, based on evidence-based practice guidelines or expert opinion.

    Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in nursing.

    Make clinical recommendations to physicians, other health care providers, insurance companies, patients, or health care organizations.

    Develop, implement, or evaluate standards of nursing practice in specialty area such as pediatrics, acute care, and geriatrics.

    Develop nursing service philosophies, goals, policies, priorities, or procedures.

    Provide direct care by performing comprehensive health assessments, developing differential diagnoses, conducting specialized tests, or prescribing medications or treatments.

    Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice or organizational systems.

    Coordinate or conduct educational programs or in-service training sessions on topics such as clinical procedures.

    Teach patient education programs that include information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.

    Design patient education programs that include information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.

    Participate in clinical research projects, such as by reviewing protocols, reviewing patient records, monitoring compliance, and meeting with regulatory authorities.


Wood’s lamps


Visual acuity charts

Venous Oxygen Saturation SVO2 monitors

Vaginal exam specula

Urine analysis equipment

Urinary catheters

All Tools

Urinalysis test strips

Umbilical catheters

Ultrasound transducers

Transvenous pacemakers

Transport cardiac monitors

Transfer boards

Transcutaneous pacemakers

Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation TENS equipment

Traction weights

Tracheotomy sets

Tracheal suctioning equipment


Tongue blades

Thoracentesis trays

Thoracentesis kits

Telemetry monitors

Tablet computers

Swan Ganz artery catheters

Suture removal kits

Surgical staple removers

Surgical scalpels

Surgical razors

Surgical irrigation sets

Straight surgical scissors

Straight hemostats


Specimen collection containers

Specialty patient care beds

Skin staplers


Safety goggles

Ring forceps

Ring cutters

Reflex hammers

Pulse oximeters

Pulmonary artery catheters

Protective medical face masks

Protective gowns

Protective face shields

Pneumatic boots

Pill splitters

Pill crushers

Pericardiocentesis kits

Pediatric crash carts

Patient walkers

Patient restraints

Oxygen flowmeters

Oxygen delivery masks

Oxygen concentrators


Ostomy equipment

Orthopedic splinting equipment

Oral suctioning equipment


Ophthalmic tonometers

Ophthalmic slit lamps

Occlusion clamps

Newborn warming lamps

Nasopharyngeal airways

Nasogastric tubes

Nasal suctioning equipment

Nasal specula

Nasal catheters

Multiple lumen central line catheters

Microscope slides

Medical scales

Medical gurneys

Medical examination protective gloves

Mechanical stethoscopes

Mechanical intermittent positive pressure ventilators

Manual resuscitation bags

Magill forceps

Laptop computers


Laceration repair trays


Intubation sets

Intravenous IV cutdown trays

Intravenous IV administration sets

Intravenous infusion pumps

Intracranial pressure monitors

Incision drainage equipment

Incentive spirometers

Hypodermic syringes

Hyper/hypothermia blankets

Hemodynamic monitors

Handheld nebulizers

Graduated glass laboratory cylinders

Fiberoptic endoscopes

Fetal monitors

Eye lavage kits

Evacuated blood collection tubes

Epidural catheters

Enteral feeding sets

Enema equipment

Endotracheal ET tubes

End tidal carbon dioxide monitors

Electrosurgical cauterization machines

Electronic compressor nebulizers

Electrocardiography EKG machines

Ear curettes

Doppler ultrasound equipment

Digital patient thermometers

Diagnostic tuning forks

Desktop computers


Crash carts

Clinical trapeze traction bars

Chest drains

Cast cutting saws

Cast carts

Cardiac monitors

Bulb syringes


Breast pumps

Blood pressure monitors

Blood glucometers

Blood drawing syringes

Bilevel positive airway pressure BiPAP ventilators



Autotransfusion systems

Automated medicine dispensing equipment

Automated external defibrillators AED

Arterial line catheters

Arterial blood gas testing equipment

Apnea monitors


Alligator forceps


Allscripts Professional EHR

Amkai AmkaiCharts

Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR

Cerner Millennium

ChartWare EMR

e-MDs software


All Technologies

GE Healthcare Centricity EMR

Medscribbler Enterprise

MicroFour PracticeStudio.NET EMR

NextGen Healthcare Information Systems EMR

Online medical databases


StatCom Patient Flow Logistics Enterprise Suite

SynaMed EMR

Texas Medical Software SpringCharts EMR



Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Teaching others how to do something.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

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