A ​CNS may provide and manage the care of individuals and groups with complex health problems and provide health care services that promote, improve, and manage health care within the CNS's nursing specialty,  A CNS must obtain a master's or doctoral degree from a clinical nurse specialist accredited program and pass a national CNS certification examination.  A CNS is licensed by the Ohio Board of Nursing as an APRN.  A CNS must practice in collaboration with a physician or podiatrist when providing direct patient care.  In addition to providing direct patient care, the CNS influences care outcomes by providing expert consultation for health care team members and by implementing improvements in health care delivery systems.

Research about CNS practice demonstrates outcomes such as:

  • Reduced hospital costs and length of hospital stay
  • Reduction in the frequency of emergency department visits
  • Improved pain management
  • Increased patient satisfaction with nursing care
  • Reduced medical complications in hospitalized patients

Other important information to know:

  • A CNS has prescriptive authority and may prescribe medications.
  • Each CNS is required to have a Standard Care Arrangement with one or more collaborating physicians or podiatrists.
  • When a CNS is collaborating with a podiatrist, the CNS's scope of practice is limited to the procedures that the podiatrist has the authority to perform according to section 4723.43(D) of the Ohio Revised Code
  • There are 11 accredited CNS programs in Ohio

  • Learn more about the CNS scope of practice - CLICK HERE -

*The average annual salary of a CNS in Columbus, Ohio not including bonuses, benefits, or other factors that impact base pay (courtesy of salary.com).

- CLICK HERE - to view CNS salaries in other Ohio cities

*The total number of CNSs with an active (or current) license authorized by the Ohio Board of Nursing as of June 30, 2019

  • $103,330*  Average Annual Salary


Courtesy of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS)

Clinical Nurse Specialists are expert clinicians in a specialized area of nursing practice.  The specialty may be identified in terms of: 

  • Population (e.g., pediatrics, geriatrics, or women’s health)
  • Setting (e.g., critical care or emergency department)
  • Disease or medical subspecialty (e.g., diabetes or oncology)
  • Type of care (e.g., psychiatric or rehabilitation)
  • Type of health problem (e.g., pain or wounds)

  • 1,130*  Number of CNSs in Ohio

Role and Scope of Practice


Ohio APRNs


Providing quality, affordable health carE​ ​​

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