Career Description

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) plan, direct and coordinate the daily patient care activities in a clinical practice. CNSs ensure adherence to clinical policies, protocols, regulations and standards.

Academic Requirements

Clinical nurse specialists focus on research and theory in formulating diagnoses and promoting wellness, providing evidence-based advanced nursing care according to their specialty. CNSs must have a master’s degree or post-master’s certificate. Most CNS graduate degree programs require applicants to have gained experience as a registered nurse in the specialty they have chosen. Generally, schools require 1 to 2 years direct patient experience in a clinical setting.