Career Details
Career Details
Back to top

Career Details

29-1141.04 - Clinical Nurse Specialists

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

Key Facts
Expand or Shrink Accordion
Bright Outlook
Career Details
Green Job
Career Details
Current Employment
Forecasted Employment
Change in Employment
Change in Employment %
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The tasks listed below can be performed to prepare you for a career in this field.
  • Coordinate or conduct educational programs or in-service training sessions on topics, such as clinical procedures.
  • Observe, interview, and assess patients to identify care needs.
  • Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice or organizational systems.
  • Provide direct care by performing comprehensive health assessments, developing differential diagnoses, conducting specialized tests, or prescribing medications or treatments.
  • Provide specialized direct and indirect care to inpatients and outpatients within a designated specialty, such as obstetrics, neurology, oncology, or neonatal care.
  • Maintain departmental policies, procedures, objectives, or infection control standards.
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals and service providers to ensure optimal patient care.
  • Develop nursing service philosophies, goals, policies, priorities, or procedures.
  • Develop, implement, or evaluate standards of nursing practice in specialty area, such as pediatrics, acute care, and geriatrics.
  • Develop or assist others in development of care and treatment plans.
  • Make clinical recommendations to physicians, other health care providers, insurance companies, patients, or health care organizations.
  • Plan, evaluate, or modify treatment programs, based on information gathered by observing and interviewing patients or by analyzing patient records.
  • Present clients with information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.
  • Instruct nursing staff in areas such as the assessment, development, implementation, and evaluation of disability, illness, management, technology, or resources.
  • Direct or supervise nursing care staff in the provision of patient therapy.
  • Identify training needs or conduct training sessions for nursing students or medical staff.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in nursing.
  • Monitor or evaluate medical conditions of patients in collaboration with other health care professionals.
  • Participate in clinical research projects, such as by reviewing protocols, reviewing patient records, monitoring compliance, and meeting with regulatory authorities.
  • Perform discharge planning for patients.
  • Prepare reports to document patients' care activities.
  • Write nursing orders.
  • Provide consultation to other health care providers in areas such as patient discharge, patient care, or clinical procedures.
  • Develop and maintain departmental policies, procedures, objectives, or patient care standards, based on evidence-based practice guidelines or expert opinion.
  • Design evaluation programs regarding the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice or organizational systems.
  • Design patient education programs that include information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.
  • Lead nursing department implementation of, or compliance with, regulatory or accreditation processes.
  • Chair nursing departments or committees.
  • Teach patient education programs that include information required to make informed health care and treatment decisions.
  • Provide coaching and mentoring to other caregivers to help facilitate their professional growth and development.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion

The items listed below are organized into sections that contain knowledge useful for pursuing a career in this field. Each section also contains a "Percentage of Importance" statistic that shows how relevant an item is to the occupation.
 Medicine and Dentistry
  • 93%
    Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
 Education and Training
  • 91%
    Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
 English Language
  • 88%
    Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 86%
    Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 85%
    Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
 Customer and Personal Service
  • 84%
    Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
 Sociology and Anthropology
  • 72%
    Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • 70%
    Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
 Administration and Management
  • 69%
    Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
 Therapy and Counseling
  • 68%
    Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
 Computers and Electronics
  • 59%
    Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
 Philosophy and Theology
  • 59%
    Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
 Public Safety and Security
  • 57%
    Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • 57%
    Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
 Communications and Media
  • 56%
    Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
 Personnel and Human Resources
  • 55%
    Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • 54%
    Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
 Law and Government
  • 51%
    Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
 Economics and Accounting
  • 51%
    Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The tools listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Specimen collection and transport containers and supplies
  • Lancets
  • Tourniquets
  • Evacuated blood collection tubes
  • Specimen collection containers
 Medical staff clothing and related articles
  • Protective face shields
  • Protective medical face masks
  • Protective gowns
 Medical gloves and accessories
  • Medical examination protective gloves
 Electrotherapy equipment
  • Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation TENS equipment
 Floor grade instruments
  • Alligator forceps
  • Ring forceps
  • Straight hemostats
 Heat and cold therapy products
  • Hyper/hypothermia blankets
 Medical suction and vacuum products
  • Nasal suctioning equipment
  • Oral suctioning equipment
  • Tracheal suctioning equipment
 Injection and aspiration needles and accessories
  • Epidural catheters
  • Pericardiocentesis kits
  • Thoracentesis kits
  • Thoracentesis trays
 Syringes and accessories
  • Bulb syringes
  • Hypodermic syringes
  • Blood drawing syringes
 Urological supplies
  • Urinary catheters
 Emergency medical services resuscitation products
  • Automated external defibrillators AED
 Blood pressure units and related products
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Sphygmomanometers
 Electrocardiography EKG units and related products
  • Electrocardiography EKG machines
  • Telemetry monitors
 Pulse oximeters
  • Pulse oximeters
 Acute care monitoring units and related products
  • Fetal monitors
  • Intracranial pressure monitors
  • Cardiac monitors
  • Hemodynamic monitors
  • Transport cardiac monitors
 Scopes and specula and accessories for medical exam diagnostic use
  • Ophthalmoscopes
  • Otoscopes
  • Nasal specula
  • Vaginal exam specula
  • Bronchoscopes
 Medical thermometers and accessories
  • Digital patient thermometers
 Hearing testing products
  • Diagnostic tuning forks
 Ophthalmic diagnostic exam products
  • Visual acuity charts
  • Ophthalmic slit lamps
  • Ophthalmic tonometers
 Patient beds and accessories
  • Isolettes
  • Newborn warming lamps
  • Clinical trapeze traction bars
  • Specialty patient care beds
 Patient transport products
  • Medical gurneys
  • Wheelchairs
  • Transfer boards
 Medication dispensing and measuring devices and supplies
  • Automated medicine dispensing equipment
 Medical ultrasound and doppler and echo imaging products
  • Doppler ultrasound equipment
  • Ultrasound transducers
 Cardiac pacemakers and related products
  • Transcutaneous pacemakers
  • Transvenous pacemakers
 Intravenous and arterial cannulas and catheters and accessories
  • Arterial line catheters
  • Swan Ganz artery catheters
  • Multiple lumen central line catheters
  • Umbilical catheters
  • Intravenous IV administration sets
  • Intravenous IV cutdown trays
 Nasoenteric tubes
  • Nasogastric tubes
 Casting and splinting supplies
  • Orthopedic splinting equipment
 Respiratory monitoring products
  • Apnea monitors
  • Arterial blood gas testing equipment
  • End tidal carbon dioxide monitors
 Oxygen therapy delivery systems and devices
  • Oxygen concentrators
  • Oxygen flowmeters
  • Oxygen delivery masks
  • Nasal catheters
 Respiratory humidity and aerosol therapy products
  • Electronic compressor nebulizers
  • Handheld nebulizers
 Airway management products
  • Endotracheal ET tubes
  • Tracheotomy sets
  • Nasopharyngeal airways
 Intubation supplies
  • Magill forceps
  • Intubation sets
 Positive mechanical pressure ventilators and accessories
  • Mechanical intermittent positive pressure ventilators
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure BiPAP ventilators
 Resuscitation supplies
  • Manual resuscitation bags
 Surgical cutting instruments and snares and related products
  • Surgical scalpels
  • Straight surgical scissors
  • Ring cutters
 Autotransfusion products
  • Autotransfusion systems
 Surgical equipment and accessories and related products
  • Electrosurgical cauterization machines
 Medical tissue closure and related products
  • Surgical staple removers
  • Skin staplers
 Suture and related products
  • Laceration repair trays
  • Suture removal kits
  • Laptop computers
  • Desktop computers
  • Tablet computers
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The technologies listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Content authoring and editing software
  • Microsoft WordHOT
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft PowerPointHOT
  • Microsoft ExcelHOT
 Data management and query software
  • Online medical databases
 Industry specific software
  • Allscripts Professional EHR
  • Amkai AmkaiCharts
  • Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR
  • Cerner Millennium
  • ChartWare EMR
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • Medscribbler Enterprise
  • MicroFour PracticeStudio.NET EMR
  • NextGen Healthcare Information Systems EMR
  • SOAPware EMR
  • StatCom Patient Flow Logistics Enterprise Suite
  • SynaMed EMR
  • Texas Medical Software SpringCharts EMR
  • e-MDs software
  • eClinicalWorks
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The certifications listed below are useful to pursue if you are interested in a career in this field.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Expand or Shrink Accordion
The licensing information below is organized into sections and is useful for pursuing if you are interested in a career in this field.
No specific licensing information is listed for this occupation in the area you have selected.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Related Programs
Expand or Shrink Accordion
Programs related to this career, offered by participating institution(s), are listed below.

Clicking on the Degree programs in the list below will take you away from the Careers page.
Blue Ridge Community College
Bluefield University
Brightpoint Community College
Central Virginia Community College
Danville Community College
Eastern Mennonite University
George Mason University
Germanna Community College
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
James Madison University
Laurel Ridge Community College
Longwood University
Marymount University
Mountain Empire Community College
Mountain Gateway Community College
New River Community College
Norfolk State University
Northern Virginia Community College
Old Dominion University
Patrick & Henry Community College
Paul D. Camp Community College
Piedmont Virginia Community College
Radford University
Rappahannock Community College
Shenandoah University
Southside Virginia Community College
Southwest Virginia Community College
The University of Virginia's College at Wise
Tidewater Community College
University of Mary Washington
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Highlands Community College
Virginia Peninsula Community College
Virginia Wesleyan University
Virginia Western Community College
Wytheville Community College
Expand or Shrink Accordion
Jobs related to this career may be found on or on the Google Job Search page.