RN to MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist

A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced-practice nurse who provides care to a specific age group or health concern. These nurses work closely with physicians and healthcare teams to ensure comprehensive patient care. The RN to MSN in clinical nurse specialist is an accelerated program that prepares students to work in hospital settings, private practices, government organization, long-term care facilities, and other various agencies.

RN to MSN in Clinical Nurse Specialist Overview

  • Students train to specialize in certain types of diseases, and work alongside other nurses to provide training and clinical expertise.
  • Students prepare to become case managers in which they work their own patients, assess health issues, diagnose and develop a treatment and care plan.
  • The general curriculum focuses on teaching the expertise necessary to work with patients, work with other caregivers and medical personnel, and work within administrative circles to evaluate nursing and overall patient care models.
  • Through clinical field work, students learn how to be leaders, consultants, mentors, and change agents in advanced nursing practices.
  • A CNS can work in an operating room, the ER, critical care, and various other practice areas.

Steps to Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist

  1. Earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
  2. Receive a Registered Nurse Certification.
  3. Enroll and complete a RN to MSN program with a concentration in clinical nurse specialist.
  4. Obtain certification in women’s health and proper licensure, which varies by state.

Salary and Career Information

  • Estimated Salary: Salaries for a CNS typically start around $76,000, according to recent reports on Indeed.com.
  • Job Setting: Hospitals, private offices, outpatient centers, emergency and community-based health services, primary care clinics, and schools.

The Online Guide to RN to MSN Programs

Purdue University Nursing (RN to MSN) Nursing Nurse Administrator Nurse Educator Purdue University - Purdue University is a leader in providing online education. Their programs are accredited and highly-rated because their curriculum is industry-driven with today's technology and practices in mind. Their MSN degree programs range from Nursing (RN to MSN) to a general Masters of Science in Nursing degree as well as helping students become Nurse Administrators, Nurse Educators, or enter Nursing Informatics.
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Walden University Informatics (RN to MSN) Education (RN to MSN) Leadership/Management (RN to MSN) Walden University - Walden University offers a variety of accredited degrees in the ever-expanding field of nursing. These positions are always in high demand and the programs at Walden University can be completed at a pace that is comfortable to you. These degrees are for students who want to obtain a General Track MSN degee or specialize in nursing informatics, nursing education, or nursing leadership/management.
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Liberty University DNP Liberty University - Liberty University's MSN degree in Nursing Administration is a fast-paced accredited program that can help students quickly achieve their career goals. This program provides an education with practical applications that students can use to succeed when they enter the workforce. The degree program specializes in the administrative roles in nursing and the healthcare system and is available through online courses.
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Grand Canyon University MBA/MS: Nursing Leadership Grand Canyon University - Grand Canyon University is a highly-rated leader in online education, backed by years of excellence in helping student works towards their life goals. GCU has two accredited, online degrees for students to choose from. The first, Nursing, gives students a well-rounded education to enter the workforce as a versatile employee. The second, Nursing Leadership, is for students wanting to fill high level positions.
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