Clinical Nurse Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a clinical nurse. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a clinical nurse.
Who is a Clinical Nurse?
A clinical nurse is a professional who collaborates directly with doctors, specialists, and other healthcare professionals to provide patients with long-term and short-term care.
Clinical nurses may choose to specialize in an area of nursing, such as oncology or pediatrics where they carry out the role of educating other medical staff about their specialty areas, in addition to directly treating patients.
Clinical Nurse Job Description
Below are the clinical nurse job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
A clinical nurse is typically responsible for the following tasks:
- Administer medication to patients following doctor’s orders or guidelines.
- Observe patients and report any signs of physical or emotional distress to the doctor or nurse in charge of their care.
- Create and revise patient care plans in response to clinical assessments, diagnoses, and treatment requirements.
- Conduct initial patient assessments to determine their health status and any immediate needs.
- Prepare patients for examinations and treatments such as wound cleaning, blood sampling, and medication administration.
- Provide health education to patients and their families.
- Perform diagnostic tests, such as blood draws and X-rays, to assist physicians in diagnosing and treating patients’ conditions.
- Observe and document patient behavior to aid in the diagnosis of mental health issues or to track treatment progress.
- Teach patients how to manage their conditions through lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet.
- Improve patient care by supervising nursing staff.
- Conduct health assessments and create customized treatment plans.
- Create nursing policies, practices, and procedures.
- Make clinical recommendations after considering alternative diagnoses
- Administer medication and treatment in consultation with patient care managers.
- Determine and facilitate training for nursing students and staff.
- Consult with patients and their families to determine the best way to manage their conditions.
- Maintain current knowledge of nursing practice and contribute to medical research.
As a clinical nurse, you must have the following qualifications:
Education: All clinical nurses must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or higher. Candidates with a master’s degree in nursing are preferred by some employers.
A bachelor’s degree in nursing requires coursework in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, psychology, statistics, and nursing. Clinical rotations allow students to gain hands-on experience in a variety of nursing specialties.
Experience and training: Clinical nurses learn the majority of their skills on the job. They may shadow another nurse or clinical assistant to learn the procedures and techniques they will use with patients. They may also be instructed on how to use the computer system used by the facility to keep patient records and track medications.
Licenses and certifications: Candidates who have completed a clinical nurse program are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). This exam is equivalent to the NCLEX-RN for clinical nurses and certifies licensed nurses.
Clinical nurses must have the following abilities to be successful:
- Excellent communication skills: An important skill for clinical nurses to have is communication, which allows them to relay information to patients and other medical staff. Clinical nurses must be able to explain medical procedures and treatments to patients and answer their questions. Communication is also essential for clinical nurses when working with other medical personnel because it allows them to relay patient information and treatment plans.
- Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings and perspectives of another person. Empathy is used by clinical nurses to make patients feel at ease and cared for. For example, if a patient is nervous about a procedure, an empathic nurse may explain the procedure and answer any questions the patient may have.
- Excellent organizational skills: Clinical nurses frequently have a large number of tasks to complete in a short period of time. Excellent organizational skills can assist you in prioritizing your work and meeting all of your obligations. This can make you feel more confident in your abilities and help you perform better overall.
- Effective time management abilities: Another important skill for clinical nurses to have is time management, as they frequently have many tasks to complete in a short period of time. This ability enables them to prioritize their responsibilities and complete them in the most efficient manner possible. Clinical nurses, for example, with good time management skills can ensure that they spend enough time with each patient to ensure that they are comfortable and have all of the resources they require.
- Critical thinking abilities: The ability to make quick decisions based on the information at hand is referred to as critical thinking. You may need to make quick decisions about a patient’s treatment plan or diagnosis as a clinical nurse. Strong critical thinking skills can help you make the best decisions for your patients.
- Technology Proficiency: The ability to use a wide range of technology to be successful in your work environment is referred to as “technology skills.” Nurses must be proficient in a wide range of technological skills. Nurses may use technology to provide patient and family education, monitor vital signs and keep patient records. Electronic medical record systems are becoming more popular in hospitals. EMR systems are digital representations of a patient’s medical chart. This means that nurses must understand how to use electronic medical record systems to record their notes and information gathered from patients.
- Ethics and Confidentiality: Ethics is a set of moral principles that guide a person’s behavior and decision-making. Nurses must adhere to a strict code of ethics. Ethics are a fundamental skill for a nursing career because the decisions and actions nurses take can mean the difference between life and death. Nurses must also adhere to strict patient confidentiality standards to ensure that sensitive and personal medical information is not released without the patient’s permission.
- Teamwork and dependability: Teamwork and dependability are interpersonal skills that enable nurses to collaborate effectively with doctors and other medical personnel. The ability of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel to collaborate as a team is critical to ensuring that patients receive the care they deserve. To be a good team player, you must also be dependable. Dependability implies that your team can count on you in any situation.
- Flexibility: The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is referred to as flexibility. You may be required to work different shifts or change your schedule as a clinical nurse on short notice. Being adaptable can also help you deal with unexpected changes in patient conditions and treatment plans. This skill can help you be more effective as a nurse by allowing you to meet patients’ needs quickly and efficiently.
- Delegation abilities: Clinical nurses are frequently required to delegate tasks and responsibilities to members of the medical team. This includes tasks such as ordering supplies, scheduling appointments and reviewing patient records. Clinical nurses must be able to delegate effectively to focus on their primary duties while still providing high-quality care to patients.
- Knowledge of wound care: Wound care is the treatment and healing of wounds. Clinical nurses frequently use their wound care knowledge to assess, treat, and monitor patients with skin injuries. They also teach patients how to properly care for their wounds at home so they can heal quickly.
- Leadership Abilities: Clinical nurses frequently treat patients in collaboration with a team of medical professionals. Leadership abilities can assist you in taking charge of these teams and ensuring that everyone has the resources necessary to provide quality care. Strong leadership skills can also assist you in motivating your team members, which is especially important when working in an environment where patient outcomes are life or death.
- Knowledge of Charting: Clinical nurses use charts to record patient information such as their medical history and current condition. This enables the nurse to monitor a patient’s progress over time and identify any trends in their condition. Charting also allows the nurse to communicate with other medical professionals about the treatment plan for a patient. For example, if a doctor prescribes medication for a patient, the nurse can track how well the medication is working and notify the doctor if the patient’s condition changes.
- Patient Education Abilities: Patient education is a valuable skill for clinical nurses to possess because it allows them to educate patients about their health conditions and treatment options. This can assist the nurse in developing a trusting relationship with the patient, which may encourage the patient to adhere to the treatment plan recommended. It’s also useful for teaching patients how to manage their health conditions at home so they can take care of themselves.
- Excellent supervisory abilities: The act of supervising a task or group is known as supervision. Clinical nurses frequently supervise patients as well as other medical personnel such as doctors and technicians. Supervision necessitates meticulous attention to detail as well as the ability to manage multiple tasks at once. It also necessitates strong communication skills to effectively relay information to others.
How to Become a Clinical Nurse
- Determine whether this is the right career for you: The first step toward becoming a clinical nurse specialist is determining whether this is the right career for you. Nurses are compassionate and intelligent individuals who excel when they have a natural interest in medicine and science. Nurses face a difficult work environment because they must stand for long periods, resolve conflicts, and provide empathy in difficult situations. If you enjoy problem-solving and working in fast-paced environments, becoming a clinical nurse specialist may be for you.
- Complete High School: Graduating from high school is an important step toward becoming a nurse if you are still in high school. To prepare for a nursing career, focus on sciences such as anatomy, biology, and chemistry in your courses. You can speak with your guidance counselor to learn more about nursing schools in your area.
- Get a Nursing Degree: After graduating from high school, pursue a nursing degree that will allow you to work as an RN. In some states, an associate degree is sufficient, but in others, a bachelor’s degree in nursing is required. To effectively strategize, research your state’s guidelines before creating your educational plan. Nursing programs teach you about various medications, procedures, conditions, diseases, holistic treatments, and regulations.
- Train to be a clinical nurse: Earning a nursing degree enables you to sit for nursing exams. You usually apply for and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a clinical nurse. The exam assesses your written and practical nursing knowledge and procedures to ensure that you can provide the best care for your patients. Gain nursing experience and consider different specialties after becoming a clinical nurse. Clinical nurses can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, prisons, and private practices.
- Continue your education: If you have an associate degree and want to become an RN, you can enroll in bachelor’s degree programs and then a master’s degree program after you finish your bachelor’s. You can apply to graduate nursing programs if you already have a bachelor’s degree. Advanced nursing programs teach you more complex procedures and nursing regulations. Before enrolling in a program, ensure that it is offered by an accredited university.
- Obtain a license as a clinical nurse: After earning your master’s degree in nursing, you will be able to take the tests needed to become a licensed clinical nurse. The requirements for this title may differ depending on your local regulations, so read them carefully before registering for exams. Many states offer clinical nurse specialist licensure, and some may have agreements with other states that allow you to practice in other states as well.
- Pursue more certifications: Pursue additional certifications while obtaining your license or afterward. The certifications you choose will depend on your specialty; some may be required for practice, while others will help demonstrate your skills and knowledge. Consider certifications that demonstrate your ability to perform obstetric procedures, for example, if you choose to specialize in obstetrics.
- Apply for positions: Once you have earned your degree and certification, you can begin looking for available clinical nurse positions. Apply for positions that require your highest level of education and certification. Your skill set and the specific source of your practical experience will distinguish your resume from the others. You can tailor your resume to a specific employer’s needs by including keywords directly from the job description.
Where to Work as a Clinical Nurse
Clinical nurses work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and home health care agencies. They can work full-time or part-time, and their hours can vary depending on the setting. Many clinical nurses work shifts that alternate between evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. Some nurses may work overtime or be on call, which means they can be called in at any time. A clinical nurse’s work environment can be stressful, and nurses must be able to handle a fast pace and make quick decisions.
Clinical Nurse Salary Scale
In the United States, the average clinical nurse salary is $74,105 per year or $38 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $29,991 per year, with the most experienced workers earning up to $115,791 per year.
In the United Kingdom, the average clinical nurse salary is £41,697 per year or £21.38 per hour. Starting salaries for entry-level positions start at £37,103 per year, with most experienced workers earning up to £49,328 per year.
In Canada, the average clinical nurse’s salary is $84,981 per year or $43.58 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $73,184 per year, with the most experienced workers earning up to $98,709 per year.
In Ireland, the average clinical nurse salary is €51,867 per year or € 26.60 per hour. Starting salaries for entry-level positions start at €47,775 per year, with most experienced workers earning up to €60,380 per year.
In Australia, the average clinical nurse’s salary is $102,400 per year or $52.51 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $96,519 per year, with the most experienced workers earning up to $122,360 per year.
The average gross salary for a clinical nurse in Germany is €58.574, or an hourly rate of €28.
In Nigeria, the average salary for a clinical nurse is around 265,000 NGN per month.