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A Career as a Clinical Nurse Specialist

Dec 31, 2007
The nursing career is gaining popularity among young girls and many are aspiring to become clinical nurse specialists. A clinical Nurse Specialist plays many roles and functions as an educator, researcher, healthcare provider, administrator or even a case manager. A clinical nurse specializes in a particular area of work, for instance she may choose to specialize in areas such as cardiology, respiratory, critical care or emergency or even neonatal. A clinical specialist nurse is very efficient and is able to take care of individuals, families and other groups.

A clinical nurse specialist works in a specific area and uses all her theoretical and clinical experience to help patients. These nurses play different roles as per the situation. In case of emergency, she may have to take complete charge and give all possible help.

There are three main options through which one can get into the nursing field. To become a nurse one can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. It requires 4 years to complete this course. One can choose to do an Associate degree in nursing, which requires 2 to 3 years or one can opt for a diploma program conducted by the hospitals. However, to become a nurse specialist one has to be certified by the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialist.

A clinical nurse needs to be good with her communication skills. She needs to come across as friendly to her patients. She needs to be a good observer and should be able to diagnose a problem efficiently. A nurse needs to perform well, both individually and within a team. She will be required to play a role of supervisor at times and needs to know how to handle and lead her team. A nurse specialist is expected to play any role as per the situation and she needs to be prepared to handle any responsibility in the given time.

Duties of a clinical nurse specialist

A clinical nurse has to play many roles. Unlike expert level staff nurses, her duties and responsibilities are not distributed. She has to be efficient and helpful throughout. She should be able to relate to her patients and offer correct treatment for the diagnosed illness. She has to offer complete medical assistance at time of emergency and arrange for further medical help if required. A nurse specialist has to conduct medical examinations regularly. She is expected to counsel the patients and build their confidence and help them recover soon.

A clinical nurse specialist acts as an educator to the nursing staff. She guides them and acts like a mentor. The nurse is expected to educate the patients and their families about the treatment. She educates the non-nursing staff and teaches at the undergraduate and graduate level.


According to the reports, in the year 2002, registered nurses including clinical specialist nurses held almost 2.3million jobs.

The medical field is a never fading profession. People are going to fall ill and will be in need nurses and doctors to take care of their needs. Any person who is ready to help them by giving personal attention can opt for becoming a clinical nurse specialist.
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