Expand mobile version menu

Clinical Nurse Specialist

salary graphic



education graphic


Master's degree

job outlook graphic



What They Do

About This Career

Directs nursing staff in the provision of patient care in a clinical practice setting, such as a hospital, hospice, clinic, or home. Ensures adherence to established clinical policies, protocols, regulations, and standards.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Evaluates the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice or organizational systems.
  • Collaborates with other health care professionals and service providers to ensure optimal patient care.
  • Develops and maintains departmental policies, procedures, objectives, or patient care standards, based on evidence-based practice guidelines or expert opinion.
  • Develops nursing service philosophies, goals, policies, priorities, or procedures.
  • Directs or supervises nursing care staff in the provision of patient therapy.
  • Reads current literature, talks with colleagues, or participates in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in nursing.
  • Instructs nursing staff in areas such as the assessment, development, implementation, and evaluation of disability, illness, management, technology, or resources.
  • Provides coaching and mentoring to other caregivers to help facilitate their professional growth and development.
  • Provides consultation to other health care providers in areas such as patient discharge, patient care, or clinical procedures.
  • Develops, implements, or evaluates standards of nursing practice in specialty area, such as pediatrics, acute care, and geriatrics.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cardiology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Trauma ICU Clinical Nurse Specialist (Trauma Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist)
  • Psychiatric Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • ICU Clinical Nurse Specialist (Intensive Care Unit Clinical Nurse Specialist)
  • Emergency Clinical Nurse Specialist


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733