Best Jobs in America

CNNMoney/PayScale's top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work.

2. Clinical Nurse Specialist
Clinical Nurse Specialist
2
"Change is a constant for me. I love the thrill of discovery," says Jocelyn Sese (right), a CNS at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. "Even after all these years of nursing, there are still new things to learn and introduce to the staff."
Median pay: $86,500
Top pay: $126,000
10-year job growth: 26%
Total jobs*: 3,449,300

What they do all day? With Obamacare raising the pressure to control health costs, it's no surprise this is a hot healthcare career. These change agents use their clinical expertise and organizational influence to develop policies designed to improve patient outcomes and deliver health care more efficiently.

How to get the job? The best specialists are a combination of nurse, leader, educator and researcher. A big part of the role involves teaching and motivating others to adopt new practices and innovations. Graduate-level training in a nursing specialty is a must.

What's great? What's not? It can be extremely satisfying to mentor other staff members and have a real impact on patient care. But trying to persuade experienced staffers to embrace new procedures can be tough. --Grace Wong

What they do all day? With Obamacare raising the pressure to control health costs, it's no surprise this is a hot healthcare career. These change agents use their clinical expertise and organizational influence to develop policies designed to improve patient outcomes and deliver health care more efficiently. --Grace Wong

Quality of life ratings:
  • Personal satisfaction: A
  • Benefit to society: A
  • Flexibility: A
  • Low stress: C
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*Total jobs is estimated number of people working in broader BLS 'job family.'

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNNMoney research

Do Clinical Nurse Specialists have great jobs, or what? Are these great jobs, or what?
It's still a tough job market, so when CNNMoney, in partnership with data from PayScale.com, set out to find America's Best Jobs this year, first and foremost we looked for professions that offer great growth opportunities.

Other big factors: pay (how strong it is now, and how fast it's growing), overall job satisfaction, and how many jobs are in the field overall.
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