STATEMENT OF LES RODRIGUEZ, PRESIDENT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALISTS
“The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) is delighted that this year, National Nurses Week is celebrating nurse leadership. We believe that nurses can and should be leaders in health care. While many already are, there is room for far more to join their ranks.
“As the largest group of health care professionals, nurses are central to providing and improving our nation’s health care. The Affordable Care Act recognizes the crucial leadership skills of nurses by emphasizing the value of primary care, prevention, wellness, chronic disease management and care coordination services—focal points of care for nurses. The Institute of Medicine’s report on the future of nursing acknowledges nurses’ leading role, recommending that nurses collaborate as full partners with physicians and other health care professionals.
“Nurses are continually developing ways to evaluate and improve the quality of care through research and collaborative learning. Nurses engage patients in the care process so they can better manage their own health and wellness and provide skilled treatment and a healing touch.
“Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), one of the four types of advance practice registered nurses, are leaders in nursing. CNSs provide expertise and support to nurses caring for patients at the bedside, help drive practice changes throughout their organizations, and ensure the use of best practices and evidence-based care to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.
“NACNS is proud to be a part of this annual recognition of nurses’ unique and important contributions to health care. We will continue to work with other nursing organizations and other health professional organizations to ensure that the voices of nurses are represented and amplified in all discussions about health and health care in our nation.”
Note: National Nurses Week began on May 6, RN Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. Les Rodriguez, MSN, MPH, RN, ACNS-BC is in Pain Management at Arlington Oaks Medical Clinics in Arlington, Texas. Rodriguez is the President of the 2014-2015 NACNS Board of Directors.