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Clinical Nurse Specialist

A Clinical Nurse Specialist has advanced knowledge and hands-on expertise in a chosen specialty.
Required education
MSN or PhD
High salary
Earn more by having advanced skills and responsibilities.
Lead, guide and support other nurses so they can provide the best care.
Work hands-on, directly with patients.
Follow a routine that allows you to anticipate and prepare for every situation.
Take on different tasks, patients, and situations every day.
You’ll be a leader who’ll guide others and help make the workplace more efficient.
Nursing bag, medication, and signs cartoon graphic
What you’ll do


You’ll teach and mentor other nurses.


You’ll supervise nurses and other staff members.


You’ll gather data and stay up to date with developments in your specialty.


You’ll examine, diagnose and prescribe medication for patients, and create treatment plans with healthcare teams.

Where you’ll work
  • Community health centers
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Home care agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health clinics
  • Outpatient clinics
How to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist


Pass the NCLEX-RN and work as a Registered Nurse.



Pass the National Nurses Licensing Exam.


Pass the Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist Exam.


You’re ready to work as a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Join an Organization
Become a member of a Clinical Nurse Specialist organization to find career opportunities, learn from your colleagues, and support the profession.
Yellow flu season ahead road sign
Real Nurses Real Stories
While seasonal influenza (flu) viruses can be detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. The flu is serious and can even be deadly, but it’s also preventable — and the flu vaccine has been shown to be one of the best ways to protect against the flu.
A Critical Care Nurse’s role is also independent.
A Case Management Nurse is another type of management nurse.
Latest from Johnson & Johnson Nursing
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  • Johnson & Johnson is proud to have supported nurse innovators and entrepreneurs through the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge Awards, which has provided grant funding for nurse-founded healthcare solutions and approaches. But the innovation journey doesn’t stop there. Here, three inspiring QuickFire Challenge awardees share what they’ve been up to since receiving their award, how their solutions have grown and expanded, and their advice for other nurses inspired to solve for healthcare’s biggest challenges.