Press Room

National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists Announces Task Forces to Address Malnutrition in Hospitalized Patients and Caring for Patients with Chronic Conditions

Task Forces Will Develop Recommendations for Resources Clinical Nurse Specialists Need to Improve Care for Patients

The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) today announced the formation of two new task forces that will address two pressing issues in health care: malnutrition in hospitalized patients; and caring for patients with multiple chronic conditions. Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who ensure high quality nursing care that is evidence-based and promotes patient safety, while improving patient outcomes and lowering health care costs.

The new task forces will develop recommendations for activities and resources that will allow CNSs to provide leadership to maintain optimal nutrition of hospital patients and provide care for patients with multiple chronic conditions across the lifespan.

Ensuring that patients maintain optimal nutrition status and avoiding malnutrition while they are hospitalized and during transitions from hospital to other care settings or home are significant challenges for health care providers. According to the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, one in three Americans is malnourished at the time he or she is admitted to the hospital. Malnutrition is associated with a higher incidence of surgical site infections, pressure ulcers and falls, which cause longer hospital stays and higher readmission rates.

The malnutrition task force, which was established with the support of Abbott
Nutrition Health Institute, is charged with developing a white paper that delineates the role of the CNS and the staff nurse in risk assessment, and identification and treatment of malnutrition. The paper will also describe the role of the CNS in coordinating a team-based response to this problem across all health care settings.

A study in Preventing Chronic Disease found that roughly half of all adults in U.S. have at least one of ten chronic conditions, and one in four has more than one. Managing care for these complex patients can be difficult.

The chronic care task force is charged with developing a white paper that delineates the role of the CNS in managing care for this growing patient population.

The Malnutrition and the Promotion of Optimal Nutritional Status Task Force includes:

  • Tracy Chamblee, PhD, APRN, PCSN-BC, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Critical Care Services, Children’s Medical Center, Frisco, Texas
  • Joanne Evans, MEd, RN, PHMCNS-BC, Executive Director, Healthy Nurses…Healthy Communities, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Karie Falder, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Gastroenterology and Vascular Access, Children’s Health, Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
  • Hea Yoon, RN, MSN, AOCNS, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Med-Surg Unit, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California
  • Chet McCauley, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CRN, Clinical Nurse Specialist/Education Coordinator, HOAG HOSPITALS, Newport Beach and Irvine, California
  • Melanie Shuster, PhD, ACNS-BC, CNSC, GNP-BC, NP-C, Allegheny Center for Digestive Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Susan Smith, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, Adult CNS, Critical Care Services, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
  • Mary J. Waldo, PhD, RN, Director, Professional Practice, Quality and Research, Providence Health & Services, Oregon Region (PHSOR), Portland, Oregon

The Role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Care of Patients with Chronic Conditions Task Force includes:

  • Lori A. Dambaugh, DNP, CNS, RN, Assistant Professor, Wegman’s School of Nursing, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York
  • Polly Hansen, RN, MN, CCNS, CCRN, PCCN, CNS, Legacy Health, Portland, Oregon
  • Cynthia R. Kollauf, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, Community-Based Case Management, Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Cheryl Lillegraven, MSN, RN, CNRN, ANCS-BC, CNS- Adult and Geriatrics, UnityPoint Health, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Renée A. Martin, RN, MN, PHCNS-BC, CGRN, GI Educator, Liver Coordinator, Staff RN-GI Lab/SSCU, Portland Veterans Administration Hospital, Portland, Oregon
  • Julia Senn-Reeves, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCNS, CCRN, Instructor, Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Renada Rochon, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CNS, Medical-Surgical Areas, Veterans Administration Hospital, San Antonio, Texas
  • Ludmila Santiago-Rotchford, MSN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, CNS, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Intermediate Care and Centralized Telemetry, Bayhealth, Dover, Delaware
  • Monica Staples, ACNS-BC, RN, MSN, CNS-White 10, General Medical Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

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