Getting Started Healthcare

Job Spotlight: Clinical Nurse

Written by Miranda Pennington

in keeping with our recent examination of specialized health careers, this week we’re looking at clinical nurses, who specialize in coordinating patient care and monitoring protocols and standards in clinical settings.

what do clinical nurses do?

according to o*net online, these are the main job responsibilities of a clinical nurse:

  • collecting medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals
  • diagnosing medical conditions
  • prescribing medications
  • examining patients to assess general physical condition
  • preparing reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities
  • collaborating with health care professionals to ensure optimal patient care
  • providing consultation in areas such as patient discharge, patient care, or clinical procedures
  • developing and maintaining departmental policies, procedures, objectives, or patient care standards based on evidence-based practice guidelines or expert opinion
  • evaluating the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice or organizational systems
  • developing, implementing, or evaluating standards of nursing practice in specialty areas such as pediatrics, acute care, and geriatrics
  • directing or supervising nursing care staff
  • designing patient education programs
  • providing care to inpatients and outpatients within a designated specialty such as obstetrics, neurology, oncology, or neonatal care
  • observing, interviewing, and assessing patients to identify care needs

essentially, it’s a dynamic role that involves collaborating with other practitioners, training nurses and evaluating staff performance, and educating patients on treatment options and procedures related to their care.


what training will you need?

most clinical nurses have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree; and the vast majority are registered nurses, or have degrees in nursing administration, nursing science, family practice nursing, or another specialty.


hiring landscape

median salary


who’s hiring?

as of this post, there are almost 2,500 direct employers for clinical nurses. the top employers include:

  • carolinas healthcare system (517 jobs)
  • community health systems inc (305 jobs)
  • consulate health care (288 jobs)
  • tandem health care of cheswick (259 jobs)
  • baycare (254 jobs)
  • providence health & services (226 jobs)
  • unitedhealth group (212 jobs)
  • wakemed (209 jobs)
  • indian health service (207 jobs)
  • hca: the healthcare company (193 jobs)

sample job posting

cardiac/telemetry unit – clinical nurse specialist/clinical nurse leader/aprn

full time position available, primarily days, 8-hour shifts, evenings, some weekends and holidays as required.


exciting opportunity for motivated clinical nurse specialist to work across the spectrum of clinical services in caring for cardiac/telemetry patients to provide educational resource and leadership support. must have a strong clinical base as well as an interest/background in customer service, quality assurance, care management, orientation, and continuing education. main areas of focus will be working at the bedside with staff with focus on orientation, in-services, competency development and documentation.

excellent interpersonal and communication skills a must. 3-5 years experience preferred, ms degree required.


requires a master’s degree in nursing or related field and an active new york state license in good standing. applicants will have 5 years experience as an rn with one to three years of leadership experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience. the clinical nurse specialist influences the quality and delivery of care in various roles including consultant, researcher, mentor, and practitioner. this role may be unit, program, or service based and is involved in continuous quality improvement initiatives.

apply here: hot clinical nursing jobs

About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.