What are the differences between a CNS and an RN?
A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has specialized knowledge and skills in a particular area of nursing practice. CNSs typically have a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) and have completed additional training and certification in their area of specialization.
A registered nurse (RN) is a licensed healthcare professional who has completed a nursing education program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). RNs may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and patient homes, and they may provide direct patient care, administer medications and treatments, and provide patient education and support.
There are a few key differences between CNSs and RNs:
- Education and training: CNSs typically have a higher level of education and training than RNs. They hold a master’s degree in nursing and have completed additional training and certification in their area of specialization. RNs typically hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) or an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN).
- Scope of practice: CNSs have a more specialized scope of practice than RNs. They may have advanced knowledge and skills in a particular area of nursing, such as pediatrics, oncology, or gerontology. RNs have a broader scope of practice and may work with patients of all ages and with a variety of health conditions.
- Role: CNSs may have a more advanced role than RNs, as they may be responsible for providing leadership and guidance to other nurses and healthcare professionals. They may also be involved in research, education, and policy development in their area of specialization. RNs may have more direct patient care responsibilities.
What are the job duties of a Clinical Nurse Specialist?
CNSs focus on improving the quality of patient care by providing expert consultation, education, and support to patients, families, and other healthcare professionals. Some specific duties of a CNS may include:
- Providing advanced nursing care to patients, including assessment, diagnosis, and treatment
- Collaborating with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement patient care plans
- Providing patient education and support, including helping patients manage chronic conditions
- Conducting research to improve patient care and advance the nursing profession
- Supervising and collaborating with other nurses and healthcare professionals
- Providing expert consultation and education to patients, families, and other healthcare professionals
- Developing and implementing quality improvement initiatives in patient care
CNSs may specialize in a particular area of practice, such as adult-gerontology, family practice, pediatrics, women’s health, or psychiatric mental health. They may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and community health centers.
How many registered CNS are there?
It is difficult to determine the exact number of clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in the United States, as there are no official statistics on the number of CNSs in the country. However, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) estimates that there are approximately 80,000 CNSs in the United States as of 2021.
How much money does a CNS make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in the United States was $115,800 as of May 2020. The BLS also reports that the lowest 10 percent of CNSs earned less than $75,590 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $162,280 per year. This wage range for CNS depends on a variety of factors, including level of education, job experience, geographic location (rural vs urban, Midwest vs coats, etc.), and year-over-year demand in the region.