Kitchen shears are extremely strong scissors which are designed specifically for use in the kitchen. The design of a traditional set of scissors is altered slightly for shears to create a stronger fulcrum which can snap through the breastbone of a chicken just as easily as it can snip open a package of rice.
There are several different designs of kitchen shears designed to meet different needs. Many have offset blades which allow you to cut at an angle while retaining leverage. Others may have blunt or softened tips so that the ends of the scissors will not rip or tear the foods that the cook is working with, and some may have serrated blades for special projects. Try to avoid shears sold in knife sets and knife sets in general, since the individual components tend to be cheaply made.
When picking out a set of kitchen shears, it helps to be able to actually handle the shears before purchasing them. They should feel heavy and solidly constructed, and the grip of the shears should be comfortable in your hand. If you are left handed, purchase a set of shears specifically designed for left handed users, as it will make use much more comfortable and easy for you. Check the shears for nooks and crannies which could accumulate pieces of food or chunks of grease which might be hard to remove.
You may also want to ask if the kitchen shears you are looking at can be sharpened. Even with ideal use, kitchen scissors will dull over time, and an expensive pair should be sharpenable. It may be a good idea to pick up replacement blades as well, so that you can replace a seriously damaged or bent blade rather than having to purchase an entirely new set. It's also a good idea to get a sheath for your shears so that they can be left loose in a drawer without the risk of injury.
Like all blades, kitchen shears should not be run through the dishwasher, as this can damage the integrity of the blade and eat away at the handle. Wash kitchen shears by hand with very hot water and plenty of soap, looking for for any crevices in the design where food for bacteria might be tucked away. Always dry blades with a soft, clean cloth after washing, and store them safely out of the reach of children and pets.