Spotlight - Year: 2018

The 2019 NACNS Awards Season Is Open

NACNS is accepting applications for its highly prestigious awards, which recognize members and affiliates who have been doing extraordinary work. The deadline for submissions in November 19, 2018.



CNS Institute Accepting Applications for Prestigious Fellowship

Apply to Join the First Class of CNS Fellows

The CNS Institute created the inaugural CNS Fellowship to showcase CNSs who have made outstanding contributions to the CNS role, been devoted mentors to future generations of CNS leaders and directly influenced the CNS role in their communities.

Application requirements include:

♦  Providing a letter of endorsement by one colleague, preferably a supervisor, who can verify contributions to CNS practice and leadership.

♦  Being a current NACNS member and having maintained membership for the past two years

♦  Having worked as a CNS for at least five years.

♦  Having worked as a CNS for at least five years.

♦  Being credentialed as a CNS or educated as a CNS, plus having significant past contributions as a CNS.

Applications for the inaugural CNS Fellowship opened on June 1 and will close on October 1, 2018.

View CNS Communiqué Full Issue

House of Representatives Passes Nursing Workforce Bill

Statement of National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS)
Board President Anne Hysong, MSN, APRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC

“The House of Representatives took a major step to improve the nation’s health today by reauthorizing the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Act of 2017 (H.R. 959) and by affirmatively including clinical nurse specialists – expert clinicians with advanced education and training in a specialized area of nursing practice – in the bill. This legislation will bolster the country’s nursing workforce by supporting education for a new generation of nurses and nurse leaders. With our health care system in transition, and health care needs growing due to our aging population, the fact that people are living longer but with more chronic health problems, and the shortage of primary care providers, we need to do all we can to support nurse education.

“According to a news release issued by the House Energy and Commerce Committee today:
This bipartisan bill will amend Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to reauthorize nursing workforce development programs, which support the recruitment, retention, and advanced education of skilled nursing professionals. The bill also extends advanced education nursing grants to support clinical nurse specialists and clinical nurse leaders, defines nurse-managed health clinics, adds clinical nurse specialists to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education, and reauthorizes loan repayments, scholarships, and grants for education, practice, quality and retention.
“We thank Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), the lead sponsor of the bill, and urge the Senate to act quickly to pass its version, S. 1109 and President Trump to then sign it into law without delay. A strong and well-prepared nursing workforce with highly educated nurses who can practice to the full extent of their education and training is essential to improving the country’s health.”

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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.

NACNS Selects Virtual, Inc. to Provide Association Management Services

NACNS is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has selected Virtual, Inc. as the association’s new management service and support team. The transition is effective today. NACNS is a widely respected membership organization devoted to advancing the unique expertise and values the clinical nurse specialist brings to delivering high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care and to reducing the cost of health care delivery. With more than 2,000 members, NACNS represents the more than 70,000 clinical nurse specialists working in hospitals and health systems, clinics and ambulatory settings and colleges and universities today.

Virtual, Inc. delivers strategic consulting, best practices, innovation and world-class operations to more than 80 national and international business and trade associations, tech and standards organizations, professional societies, state governments and professional licensing associations. It has offices in greater Boston, Washington, D.C., Palo Alto and Nashville.

“We are excited to make this transition and to be working with a world class management firm like Virtual,” said NACNS Board President Anne Hysong, MSN, APRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC. “We know that Virtual’s support will help us expand our membership, influence and reach.”

Melinda Mercer Ray, MSN, will continue in her role as Executive Director of NACNS.

Saima K. Hedrick, MPH, CAE will serve as the new NACNS Operations Director. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from George Mason University and has more than a decade of association experience, including holding positions with the Society for the Study of Reproduction and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

Michelle Matz will serve as the new Membership Coordinator. She has held administrative positions in several societies, such as American Brachytherapy Society, Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals, and the Sports Lawyers Association.

The updated CNS Statement is now open for public comment

Final CNS Statement Now Available Online and in Print Pre-Order!

NACNS is pleased to offer the Draft Revised CNS Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education, third edition for comment!

The Draft Revised CNS Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education, third edition was developed by a panel of clinical nurse specialists representing experts in education, practice and research. 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.

This survey has been developed to collect public comments from the broad nursing community on the draft NACNS Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education, third edition, also referred to as the CNS Statement or the Draft CNS Statement Revision. The public comment period will open May 1 and will close on June 11, 2018.

About the previous comment period

This document has been more than three years in development. One lengthy aspect of the revision was the reconceptualization and revision of the CNS Core Competencies. These revised CNS Core Competencies received public comment in November 2017 – January 2018. The CNS Core Competencies that are included in this document includes consideration of the close to 200 comments received during this public comment period.

Because of the structure and length of draft CNS Statement, we have divided the public comment collection into different surveys. The titles and links to the different surveys that comprise this comment period are listed below.

Tips for completing this public comment

  • All documents related to the CNS Statement are posted here on the NACNS web site. Please note, these documents include line numbers which will help you with your comments.
  • You may elect to complete just one of the surveys or all the surveys.
  • To make sure your comments align with the sections of the CNS Statement, please use the line-numbered copy of the CNS Statement and other documents posted on the NACNS web site.
  • Most people find it efficient to review the paper or electronic copy and write notes, then go to the survey to submit the comments.
  • NACNS recognizes that there may be grammatical or other editorial errors in this draft. We are not asking for your feedback on this. A copy writer has been engaged to address all these issues upon completion of the public comment period prior to publication.

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.

Links to documents related to this public comment and corresponding survey links are provided below

2019 Call for Abstracts – NOW OPEN!


The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists uses the association’s Research Agenda to determine topics of interest for its 2019 annual conference. Those interested in submitting an abstract for consideration will be asked to select a topic and address the theme of the conference (A Catalyst for Practice Change: The CNS) in their abstracts.

Deadline for Abstract Submission: May 21, 2018
Deadline for Student Poster Submission: December 4, 2018

Topics of interest include:

  • Clinical Practice Application (e.g., patient-centered outcomes, reduction in complications, comparative effectiveness projects, non-disease specific phenomena);
  • Health Care System (e.g., delivery, services, costs, safety, nurse-sensitive indicators);
  • Health Care Policy (e.g., scope of practice, regulation, prescriptive authority);
  • Health Promotion (e.g., wellness management, disease management, symptom management, quality of life, functional status, medications and other therapeutics);
  • Education (e.g., healthcare provider/students, patients, families, populations [vulnerable or unique], communities);
  • Palliative Care Across the Lifespan; and
  • Pharmacology. (Please note: While pharmacology is not a category in the NACNS Research Agenda, NACNS is adding this Topic of Interest for 2019.) 

Presentation Options

This call is for the following presentations: individual podium, symposium, clinical management lecture workshops and posters. Conference planners will select up to four workshops for the 2019 Annual Conference. Workshops are a new presentation option.

All abstracts should use the following headings:

  • Title
  • Significance & Background
  • Evaluation Methods
  • Outcomes
  • Implications

Individual podium presentations should be consistent with the conference theme, and abstracts should address at least one of the topics of interest. Presenters will have 20 minutes for their presentation, followed by five minutes for Q&A. The conference planning committee assigns the accepted podium presentations to break out sessions with other papers on similar topics. Abstract submissions must include the title reflecting the content of the presentation, identify the topic of interest, one learner objective, and an abstract text (limit 250 words). The author name(s) and affiliations must not be in the abstract text or title.

Symposium presentations are submitted as a collection of three papers. Each of the three paper presentations are 20 minutes each, plus a brief five-minute overview that introduces the focus of the symposium. Presentations will conclude with a Q&A. The group of submitting authors will determine the focus of the symposium (e.g., a standard process applied to different patient populations or settings; a single project with multiple outcomes where each paper focuses on one outcome; a single disease or condition with different approaches for management presented, etc.). The symposium overview paper must include the symposium title, identify the topic of interest, and list three learner objectives. The overview text is limited to 250 words. The individual papers must each include a title that is consistent with the symposium focus and an abstract (limit 250 words). The author (s) and affiliations must not be included in the abstract text or title.

Clinical management lectures are an in-depth presentation of managing a chronic disease or health problem that includes the pharmacological management for the selected disease/health problem. Presenters will have 60 minutes for the lecture, followed by Q&A for 10-15 minutes. Abstract submissions for clinical management lectures must include the title reflecting the content of the presentation, three learner objectives, and an abstract text (limit 250 words). The author (s) and affiliations must not be included in the abstract text or title.

Workshops are approximately two hours in length and should be designed to provide in-depth, hands-on and an interactive presentation. The workshop’s structure is driven by the presenters, but should include a mix of content presentation, discussion, Q&A, and, if appropriate, demonstrations, learner participation and/or small group work. Abstract submissions for workshops must include the title reflecting the content of the presentation, three learner objectives, and an abstract text (limit 250 words). The author(s) and affiliations must not be included in the abstract text or title.

Poster presentations are stand-alone visual displays focusing on one of the topics of interest. One presenter is required to be present during the main poster viewing session to respond to Q&A with conference attendees.  Posters are used for works-in-progress or for completed works. The author(s) and affiliations must not be included in the abstract text or title.

All abstracts must be submitted online using the Catalyst system. Please email with questions.  

Continuing Education Credit

Please note: Additional information for each session may be requested in order to submit the sessions for continuing education credit.

NACNS and ANCC prepared a check list for speakers to consider when determining the amount of pharmacology credit that is contained within their session. Pharmacotherapeutic content may include, but is not limited to, drug specific information, safe prescribing practices, safe medication administration, prescribing methodology, new regulations or similar content. The form is embedded in the abstract system, but you can also download the check list.

Our 2017 Top Ten

As we ring in the new year, NACNS is taking stock of our 2017 successes and accomplishments!

Here’s our 2017 Top 10:

  1. Hosted nearly 600 clinical nurse specialists from around the country at our 2017 annual conference in Atlanta, Ga and dozens of CNSs earlier this summer at the Educator’s Forum and CNS Summit.
  2. Published and promoted the second CNS Census, finding three in four CNSs specialize in adult health or gerontology, most work in acute care hospitals and more than half have nursing clinical-related responsibility for an entire health system.
  3. The NACNS Task Force for the Revision of the NACNS Statement on Education and Practice developed and released for public comment the draft CNS Core Competencies.
  4. Hosted a monthly webinar series focused on providing clinical nurse specialists opportunities to earn CE and learn about innovative practice strategies targeted specifically for CNSs.
  5. The NACNS Practice Committee created the Cost Analysis Toolkit, a resource to help CNSs employ key business and cost analysis tools to better describe and quantify CNS contributions to health care.
  6. Released reports based off the work of the Chronic Conditions Task Force and the Malnutrition Task Force. Both reports found that CNSs have key roles to play in managing patients with chronic conditions and impacting malnutrition in hospitalized adult patients.
  7. Released an update of the Legislative and Regulatory Toolkit, the work of the Legislative and Regulatory Committee.
  8. Joined the American Nurses Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Nursing Infection Control Education Network (NICE Network) so that CNSs can better address emerging threats and follow infection control procedures to protect patients and nurses working at the bedside.
  9. Issued nearly 30 public statementson policy issues important to CNSs, including health care reform, the nursing workforce, health information technology and more.
  10. Created a charitable arm of NACNS, the CNS Institute, to develop and promote education, innovations in clinical practice, and scientific research that will advance the clinical nurse specialist role and improve patient care.

Thank you for your invaluable support this year! NACNS is determined to continue our efforts to ensure that the role CNSs play in acute, chronic and primary care is respected, valued and accurately represented in health care.

We’re determined to make 2018 our best year yet! We’ll kick off the year by welcoming hundreds of clinical nurse specialists to Austin, Texas on February 28 for our annual conference next month!