A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is an advance practicing nurse specialist with a graduate level education of Master’s, Post-Master’s Certificate or doctorate level education. They are prepared to provide specialized cares and play leadership nursing role in various types of acute and non acute care centers such as hospitals, home care agencies, homes, health department and clinics, offices of the physician, private practices and schools. In these facilities, their process of diagnosing and treating an ailment is more concentrated on evidence based practice and interpretations.
Their practice is based on three spheres of influence including Patient, Nursing personnel and Healthcare System.
Patient – In the first sphere, their goal is to diagnose and provide expert care to various types of illness through evidence based practice and devise strategies that results in improved patient outcome.
Nursing personnel – They work in a multidisciplinary team, which include patient, families, other professionals and specialists. By working with the lower level nursing personnel, they guide and coach them for better outcome.
Healthcare/Organizations System – They work with other nurses and specialists for the improvements in the clinical cares through research, changes and innovation that can lead to overall improvement of the systems and bring out the positive change in the organizations. Such practice also makes them consultants for implementing the improvements.
The framework of the primary competencies of CNS include assessment of the patient, diagnosis for identification of the disease, identify the illness, plan and implement expert clinical care and interventions, and evaluate the result of the care.
Therefore, their specialized cares are based to a particular population such as geriatrics, pediatrics and others, in the specific settings such as Intensive Care, critical care or emergency care room and by providing specialized evidence based cares through expert knowledge and skills of their specialized specialty or sub specialty.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Program
In order to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist, you must earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree with advanced level clinical training, which allows you to pursue specialized course in specialization or you can continue for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), which is essential for your clinical leadership role or for implementing the changes for the improvement in the system. But, before opting for your MSN Program, you must earn a RN License by passing the NCLEX-RN Exam and by completing your bachelor degree program.
Clinical nurse specialist (CNS) license is granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In addition, for working as a CNS, you must also gain 3 years working experience in intensive care unit, which also include one years working in a specific specialty area.
As a Clinical Nurse Specialist, you can easily earn a salary ranging from $65,000 to above $100,140 depending on your work experience, the type pf the facility you are working, job positions, job location and, education and training background.
The demand for the advance practice Clinical Specialists in the United States of America is also rising in a phenomenal rate, due to their expertise in offering both primary and specialized cares and their demand will be highest in underserved and unrepresented areas, such as distant locations and rural areas, where they can provide advance cares similar to that of a physician except very few duties of the physician, which only they can suffer such as surgery.