What is the Difference Between Clinical Nurse Specialist and Clinical Nurse Leader?

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) and the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNLs) are graduate-level nurses.

However, the roles of CNS and CNL are different in several aspects.

First of all, the Clinical Nurse Specialist focus on the specific population.

Therefore, they can specialize in Adult or Gerontological Health, Acute Care, Pediatrics, Mental Health, Women’s Health, and Community/ Public Health.

Clinical Nurse Specialists are considered experts in their area and they use evidence-based research to come up with the most effective policies which will improve patient outcomes.

CNSs should keep track of current trends in medical care.

They are also in charge of the education of other healthcare team members and research, as well as mutual work towards best patient outcomes.

On the other hand, the Clinical Nurse Leader focus on the general population and who they will treat depends on their employer.

Some Clinical Nurse Leaders work in specific units in the hospital work setting.

They can be in direct contact with the patient or they could manage other nursing staff and have little to no contact with patients at all.

Clinical Nurse Leader also focus on the evidence-based practice in their work setting and focus on providing expertise on cost-effective

A part of their job is to assess and identify issues that lower the nursing efficiency and to come up with the solutions.

Their primary principle is to ensure the consistency of care.

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