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Nursing Association Welcomes Comments on Core Competencies of Clinical Nurse Specialist Education and Practice

Today, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) opened the public comment period for its 2017 Draft CNS Core Competencies. The NACNS Task Force for the Revision of the NACNS Statement on Education and Practice, a panel of clinical nurse specialist (CNS) experts in education, practice and research, have developed the draft competencies since the task force was commissioned in 2015.

To develop them, the task force drew from the 2004 and 2010 versions and additional resources to cover more content in accord with the evolution of health care. The overall number of competencies was reduced, from more than 70 in 2010 to 44 in the current draft, and their organization streamlined while incorporating new concepts and language.

The individual competencies are oriented to align with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Legislation, Accreditation, Certification and Education (2008) and differentiate CNS practice from non-APRN DNPs and clinical nurse leaders. The draft competencies’ intent is to provide the basis on which CNSs would build their specialty practice. While CNSs may expand their practice through a chosen specialty, these competencies are intended to apply to all specialties. Like other nursing disciplines’ core competencies, the draft CNS competencies represent the entry level competencies for a CNS graduate, regardless of preparation in a master’s or doctor of nursing practice program.

As part of the review process, organizers are asking clinical nurse specialists to read and examine the 2017 revised CNS Core Competencies, 2010 CNS Core Competencies, 2004 CNS Core Competencies and a Letter from Carol Manchester, Chair of the NACNS Task Force for the Revision of the NACNS Statement on Education and Practice before commenting.

“I urge everyone who has been educated as a CNS to read and complete the survey,” said NACNS President Vince Holly, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC. “This invaluable feedback from clinical nurse specialists from coast to coast will shape how we talk about CNS education and practice for years to come. The feedback the task force receives will be used to best serve the interests of CNSs and our health care system.”

The members of the NACNS Task Force for the Revision of the NACNS Statement on Education and Practice are:

  • Chair: Carol Manchester, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, BC-ADM, CDE;
  • Sherri L. Atherton, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CIC;
  • Kathy A. Baker, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN;
  • Niloufar Niakosari Hadidi, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, FAHA;
  • Mary Beth Modic, DNP, APRN-CNS, CDE;
  • Mary Fran Tracy, PhD, APRN, CCNS, FAAN; and
  • Jane Walker, PhD, RN.

The public comment period will close January 8, 2018. The final 2017 CNS Core Competences will be published as Section Two of the revised NACNS Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education, third edition (CNS Statement). The third edition of the CNS Statement will provide additional guidance on the role of the CNS and the use of the core competencies in education and practice and is expected to be published by the fall of 2018. The three additional sections of the CNS Statement will also be available for public comment as they are drafted.

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