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Best Jobs in America

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

7.  Clinical Nurse Specialist

100 best jobs clinical nurse specialist 2
JoAnne Phillips, a CNS at the University of Pennsylvania Health System
  • Median pay: $89,300
  • Top pay: $130,000
  • 10-year job growth: 19%

These advanced practice RNs act as a clinical resource for nurses and work closely with the staff on complex or high-risk patients. Most work in hospitals and evaluate current protocols and help implement new policies. They primarily focus on improving patient care, and can specialize in a particular area of care like oncology or pain management.

What's great: Figuring out the best care plan or creating a new system-wide procedure to improve care is a satisfying perk of the job. "You can be influential with the care of many patients and the staff looks to you for support and guidance," said JoAnne Phillips, a CNS. "There's nothing better than seeing the twinkle in a nurse's eye of 'Oh, now I get it.'" --K.V.

Quality of life ratings:
Personal satisfaction: A | Benefit to society: A | Low stress: B

Notes: All pay data from Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least five or seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2012-22, and based on people working in broader 'job family' from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more details, see How We Picked the Best Jobs.
Sources:, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNNMoney research
  @CNNMoney - Last updated May 09 2017 01:24 PM ET

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