Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Salary Range
$115,000 - $175,600/ Year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Monday - Friday

#118722 (CNS) Clinical Nurse Specialist-Hillcrest NICU

Extended Deadline: Wed 2/8/2023

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the University of California requires, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and influenza before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit: Flu Vaccine Mandate / COVID Vaccine Policy

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 09/27/2022. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

This position will remain open until filled.


UC San Diego Health is a Magnet designated organization, which is a prestigious recognition that applies to only 10% of all U.S. hospitals. Magnet is the "gold standard" for nursing excellence and is based on strengths in five key areas which include transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice, new knowledge, innovation and improvements and empirical outcomes. UC San Diego Health has held its Magnet status since 2011.

The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is an Advance Practice Registered Nurse prepared at the master’s or doctorate level and is certified as a CNS with the California Board of Registered Nursing. The CNS is part of the leadership team and collaborates with members of their team to provide and influence optimal patient care and service in their patient population. The CNS demonstrates the competencies within the three spheres of influence of their practice model which are (1) the patient/family, (2) nursing practice, and (3) the organization, with the patient being integral to their purpose and practice. The CNS encompasses the following roles: clinical expert, consultant, leader, educator, evidence-based practice advocate, inter and intradepartmental liaison, and resource professional. The CNS educates, guides, and mentors the nursing staff and health care team members in the provision of patient care at a local and system level.

This role will serve as a general expert Neonatal clinician, educator, researcher, consultant and leader for nursing staff, patients, families and members of inter-professional health care teams. Collaborates with the nursing leadership team and inter-professional team to ensure cost-effective professional practice standards within the patient population based on best practices and evidence as well as impacts system wide efforts through CNS role.

This position would be responsible for: Directing the clinical nursing practice in a large, academic medical center NICU with extensive neonatal population growth, coordination and assessment of critical care educational development and clinical competency of the nursing staff in the NICU; and for ensuring continued neonatal critical care nursing competency through education programs for both the newly-hired and experience nursing staff. Consultations with staff on complex neonatal critical care nursing issues. Oversight of comprehensive parent and/or primary caretaker education activities. Ensuring the implementation of a coordinated and effective discharge planning program. Collaborate with UC San Diego-Jacobs Medical Center NICU CNS on practice, policy and education. Assuring all UC San Diego Health nurses deliver excellent care for the Neonatal patient and family. Facilitate compliance with extensive Neonatal regulations from Children's Medical Services (CMS), CDPH, TJC and other agencies as required. Accountable for: Education/competency standardization, neonatal equipment, neonatal quality reviews, updates of MCPs and neonatal guidelines, coordination of neonatology consults, EPIC integration with UC Irvine and implementation at UC San Diego Health, preparation/orientation/training and other Neonatal-related clinical opportunities, mentor staff in project development and implementation, monitor quality metrics, collaborate with NICU Leadership, facilitate mock code simulation.

Under the direction of the department director or designee, the CNS prioritizes and manages multiple demands in an ever-changing healthcare environment. Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills are required. Must be able to use word processing and presentation software. Ability to effectively coordinate efforts with others, including interdisciplinary groups. Self-motivated and proven ability to work both independently or effectively as a team member with a variety of healthcare specialists.


  • A Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN) or completion of program within six (6) months of hire.
  • Registered Nurse (RN) license issued by the state of California.
  • CNS certificate issued by the state of California within six (6) months of completion of CNS program.
  • BLS/CPR and ACLS certification at time of hire with commitment to get ART within six (6) months of hire date.
  • Five (5+) or more years of relevant experience, including at least two years of clinical experience in neonatal nursing care at least one of which shall have been in a facility with a NICU that is equivalent to a Regional, Community, or Intermediate NICU.
  • Knowledge and utilization of advanced continuous quality improvement (CQI) techniques and evidence-based practice to improve clinical outcomes; ability to identify areas for improvement, and effectively applies the concepts of change theory to promote departmental and organization change.
  • Knowledge of adult learning principles and their application.


  • Three (3+) or more years’ experience in the CNS role.
  • Three (3) years of experience in NICU nursing.
  • Advanced computer knowledge, ability to research current practice, collation of statistical data, and development of appropriate presentation techniques.
  • Current ANCC CNS certification and current professional certification (CCRN, PCCN, ONCC).
  • Experience with electronic health record.
  • Experience with learning management system.
  • Project management experience.


  • Must be able to work various hours and locations based on business needs.
  • Must obtain specialty certification within one year of hire.
  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check and pre-employment physical.

Pay Transparency Act Full Salary Range: $87,000 - $202,600 Annually

The University of California, San Diego is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience. The full salary range for this position is defined as the Full Pay Range. The budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position defined as the Expected Pay Scale. Placement within the Expected Pay Scale is determined by internal equity, relevant qualifications, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

Job offer is contingent on successful engagement in the UC COVID-19 Vaccination program (fully vaccinated with documented proof or approved exception/deferral).

If applicable, life-support certifications (BLS, NRP, ACLS, etc.) must include hands-on practice and in-person skills assessment; online-only certification is not acceptable.

UC San Diego Health is the only academic health system in the San Diego region, providing leading-edge care in patient care, biomedical research, education, and community service. Our facilities include two university hospitals, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, the only Burn Center in the county, and and dozens of outpatient clinics. We invite you to join our team!

Applications/Resumes are accepted for current job openings only. For full consideration on any job, applications must be received prior to the initial closing date. If a job has an extended deadline, applications/resumes will be considered during the extension period; however, a job may be filled before the extended date is reached.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

UC San Diego Health is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

UC San Diego Health maintains a marijuana and drug free environment. Employees may be subject to drug screening.

Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply Online