A Clinical Nurse Specialist is an Advanced Practice Nurse who has advanced knowledge, through obtaining a Master's or Doctoral nursing degree, and expertise to specialize in specific patient populations or conditions.
A Clinical Nurse Specialist impacts clinical practice to improve patient outcomes by incorporating research into clinical practice, promoting evidence based practice, participating in and leading interdisciplinary workgroups, and providing education to nurses, healthcare providers, patients, and families.
Clinical Nurse Specialists identify system workflow gaps in order to improve efficiency in care for nurses, patients, and families. Clinical Nurse Specialists are key leaders in influencing change because they are educated and trained to examine impact of change on the three spheres: nursing, system, and patient.
What are the 3 spheres of influence for CNS practice?
- Patient and Family
- Collaborates with interdisciplinary team to assist in coordination of patient care
- Consultant for complex patient care and newly diagnosed conditions
- Nurse/Nursing Practice
- Resource for nursing staff in the management of complex patients
- Promotes professional practice and ensures clinical excellence
- Promotes practice that is evidence-based
- Provide staff education within nursing specialty
- Utilize evidence based practice to assist with high quality, cost effective, safe clinical outcomes
- Participate in system wide initiatives and multidisciplinary teams
- Participate in developing and implementing nursing policies/standards of care within the organization
Within the 3 spheres of CNS practice, what are the various roles of the CNS?
- Expert Clinician
How does the CNS impact the clinical environment?
- Increasing the nurses’ knowledge of their contribution to nurse-sensitive and other patient outcomes
- Providing clinical guidance and solutions for complex patient populations and situations
- Promoting evidence based practice
- Facilitating a spirit of inquiry and guiding evaluations of new processes to improve patient outcomes
- Participating in system wide initiatives and multidisciplinary teams
- Fulfilling the chairperson role for nurse resource groups (i.e. diabetes, pain, geriatric)
- Identifying knowledge and skill development needs of nurses
CNS Academic Program Directory