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Our nurse educator was a CNS in Cardiology/Cardiac Surgery. She was in charge of keeping us up to date on all things cardiac. She also led CE classes in cardiac related subjects. I have no idea how much she made.
According to Salary.com, the average expected salary for a clinical nurse specialist in the United States is $71,811. Obviously this will vary according to location, job description, on-call requirements, ease/difficulty in filling the position, as well as other factors, but the listed salary is probably a good ballpark estimate. Our clinical nurse specialists do a lot of patient, family, and staff education. They also review policies/procedures, serve on committees, review QI data, plus a variety of other things.