CNS, Perioperative Services - Sample Job Description


The Clinical Nurse Specialist functions in the perioperative setting in an advanced practice role as a leader, clinical expert, researcher, educator, and consultant1.

Essential responsibilities

  • Advances practice of nursing by implementing innovative alternative solutions that address complex system problems and/or patient care issues.
  • Serves as clinical expert in the delivery of perioperative patient care.
  • Assists with the provision of surgical care in accordance with facility, state, and federal regulations.
  • Integrates research into the perioperative clinical environment through the implementation of evidence-based practice.
  • Develops, coordinates, implements and evaluates educational programs for perioperative patients and their families, staff, and the community.
  • As part of a multi-disciplinary team, acts as a change agent to develop system performance standards to improve perioperative patient outcomes.

Minimum qualifications

  • Master’s  degree with a Clinical Nurse Specialist focus from accredited  school of nursing
  • Current licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
  • Eligible for certification in the state of hire; certification as CNS within 12 months of employment
  • Current CNOR/CRNFA (if applicable) certification
  • American Heart Association BCLS and ACLS Instructor; PALS instructor as required by facility
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong computer skills, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint


Minimum of 5 years OR clinical perioperative experience. 2 years’ experience in the CNS role preferred.


  1. The National CNS Competency Task Force. (2010). Clinical Nurse Specialist Core Competencies. Harrisburg, PA: NACNS.