Austin, Texas – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) today presented its prestigious Affiliate of the Year Award to the Oklahoma Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (OACNS). The Award recognizes an NACNS affiliate that has sustained membership growth, offered innovative and creative educational opportunities, built clinical nurse specialist (CNS) leadership, contributed to NACNS’ growth and advanced the CNS role. Representatives from OACNS received the award earlier today at NACNS’ 2018 Annual Conference, Putting the Pieces Together: CNSs Bridging the Gaps in Health Care, in Austin, Texas.
“The Oklahoma Association of Nurse Specialists is an excellent organization, with passionate members who are steadfast advocates, dedicated to increasing awareness of the CNS role in health care” said 2017 Board President Vince Holly, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC. “OACNS has been a strong supporter of NACNS’ goals and mission for the past 15 years and we look forward to working with them as we continue to promote the benefits CNSs bring to evidenced-based quality care, patient safety, and cost of savings in health care delivery.”
The Oklahoma Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists has had a formal affiliate relationship with NACNS since the group’s inception in 2003. OACNS has held a yearly pharmacology conference since 2007. Last year the two and a half-day conference provided 16 pharmacology hours and more than 13 continuing education units, in compliance with the Oklahoma Board of Nursing and the American Nurses Credentialing Center, an integral part of helping Oklahoma clinical nurse specialists reach their minimum of 15 pharmacology hours. OACNS also took an active role in encouraging nurses to get involved in public policy and advocacy, pushing for a state bill on full scope of practice.
Numerous OACNS members have played key roles in NACNS, including serving as the first chair of the CNS Institute, volunteering on the Education Committee, Legislative/Regulatory Committee, Affiliate Advisory Committee and Planning Committee for the NACNS 2017 Educator’s Forum and CNS Summit. OACNS members also served as abstract reviewers for the 2018 annual conference. Over the past few years, OACNS members have contributed to the science of nursing practice, publishing often in peer-reviewed journals and presenting posters and papers.
OACNS members also hold leadership roles in other nursing, state and national organizations, including the Oklahoma Board of Nursing and its Advanced Practice Advisory Committee and the APRN Coalition Group, amplifying the work of clinical nurse specialists in Oklahoma and around the country.
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Founded in 1995, The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is the only association representing the clinical nurse specialist (CNS). CNSs are advanced practice registered nurses who work in a variety of specialties to ensure high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. As leaders in health care settings, CNSs provide direct patient care and lead initiatives to improve care and clinical outcomes, and reduce costs. NACNS is dedicated to advancing CNS practice and education, removing certification and regulatory barriers, and assuring the public access to quality CNS services.