According to the Strong Interest Inventory® and its associated assessment, Clinical Nurse Specialists are considered to hold a position within the Enterprising careers category. Since the early 20th century, avid job seekers have used these tools to focus their job search and find a fulfilling and potentially profitable career. The Assessment measures a broad range of interests and other traits, and then compares the results to those of professionals in a variety of careers who report happy within their positions. Based on this analysis, job seekers are given a ranking of six Theme Code Categories. For example, Enterprising careers tend to be competitive. Therefore, they generally attract persuasive people who are self-confident, assertive, and energetic.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Read about a career in Clinical Nursing including information such as a Clinical Nurse Specialist’s salary, daily tasks and other career information.

Clinical Nurse Specialist is an example of an Enterprising career. These professionals coordinate and plan day-to-day patient care activities in a clinical practice, like a hospital or doctor’s office. They ensure that their patients receive the highest quality care, while also maintaining legal and ethical standards. They work closely with other health care professionals and service providers to evaluate patients, determine treatment plans, and provide consultation around when a patient is to be discharged, how they should be cared for, or other relevant clinical procedures. They also supervise nursing care staff, including instructing them in injury or disability assessment, management, technology, and other relevant areas.

Clinical Nurse Specialists also have administrative and continuing education responsibilities. They are instrumental in developing and maintaining departmental policies, procedures, and objectives, as well as establishing and evaluating standards in specialty areas like pediatrics and geriatrics. Along the way, they work hard to hone their own and others’ skills by presenting at or attending professional conferences and reading current literature, all with the objective of improving patient care. They may also organize and implement education programs for patients. For instance, teaching diabetics how to manage and test their blood sugar, recognize warning signs, and more.

Clinical Nurse Specialists use an enormous range of tools and technologies to serve their colleagues and their patients. Like most professionals, they need to be comfortable with Microsoft Office Suite, e-mail, and web browser software. In addition, they use medical management software, such as Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR, StatCom Patient Flow Logistics Enterprise Suite, or similar. Tools they use may include standard medical equipment (e.g., catheters, blood pressure kits, thermometers, enema kits, glucose monitors, scales, etc.), emergency medical equipment (e.g., automated external defibrillators), movement assistance devices (e.g., wheel chairs, canes or crutches, knee braces), medical testing equipment (e.g., EKGs, MRIs, ultrasounds, X-rays), and more. The precise tools they use on any given day depends on their patients as well as their area of specialization.

Most Clinical Nurse Specialists (88%) have a Master’s degree, while the remaining 12% hold either a post-master’s certificate or a Doctorate. Their formal education helps them develop a technical expertise in medicine and biology, as well as the administration and management of medical practices. They also need to have strong written and oral communication skills, as well as the ability to solve complex problems and make critical decisions quickly. Finally, Clinical Nurse Specialists need to be genuinely interested in helping others and need to be able to do so in a compassionate way. Part of doing so is being able to explain complex medical details in ways that patients, and others who are involved in their care, can understand.

The median Clinical Nurse Salary in the United States is $71,730 annually, though the top 10% can earn over $106,000. The highest medians are in the western states of Hawaii, California, and Oregon. Over 3 million Clinical Nurse Specialists are employed across the country currently, and employment rates are projected to continue to grow quickly—estimated at 11% over the next decade, for an addition of over 200,000 jobs nationwide. The most populous states of California, Texas, New York, and Florida lead the growth curve, with California alone projected to add nearly 20,000 jobs in the next decade. Texas follows, with over 16,000 jobs and a 24% growth rate.

Below are some employment trends for Clinical Nurse Specialists

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Salary: $34.48 hourly, $71,730 annually
  • Employment: 3,060,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2018-2028): Much faster than average (11% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2018-2028): 210,400
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections