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Ask Phee Phee Anything: What a CNS Should Bring to Work

Hello and happy CNS Week, Day 5! What a great week it’s been already, and to close this week’s special Ask Phee Phee blog series, I want to talk about the tools a CNS needs at work, and how to always come prepared for any situation that may arise.

Being a CNS means, one needs to be prepared for anything with their patients, and every day is different. A large part of being a CNS entails simply being present and available for whatever your patients need, physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Below is my list of the tools that a CNS should always bring to work to best serve our patients and communities. 

  1. A sense of humor
    A sense of humor is one of the most important things anyone in a health care role can bring to work. Between the long hours and emotionally/mentally draining work, being able to laugh and have a sense of humor can be extremely valuable in tense situations.
  2. Trust
    This tool goes two ways; you need your colleagues to be able to trust you as well as your patients. Being able to be someone that others trust should be a top priority for all health care workers.
  3. Reliability
    Stemming off being someone that people can trust, being reliable, and speaking up when others aren’t comfortable, is extremely important. Always being visible and transparent in your practice allows you to be a reliable person in the healthcare field.
  4. Teamwork
    Be open and be able to collaborate and communicate with those on a team. You can’t take yourself too seriously, but you need to be able to relate to and validate others’ feelings and situations in order to be the best CNS you can be.
  5. Empathy
    Always carry tissues, for the nurses, families, and patients. This is an emotional role and can carry a lot of stress for yourself and those around you. Be in tune with the situations around you and provide as much support as you can.
  6. Advocacy
    Set boundaries, and advocate for yourself as much as you advocate for others. Say no when you disagree with something or are put in an uncomfortable situation.
  7. Change
    Be a change advocate for nursing and your individual organizations as well as your own advanced practice. When our 3 spheres of impact are broken apart, other nurses can do one of the spheres, but we are unique when we practice all 3 spheres, in order to continue to demonstrate our value and impact as advanced practice registered nurses. We need to be able to push and expand our practice to continue to grow in healthcare.

Something I learned when I was a girl scout was to always “do a good turn daily,” and to always be prepared. As CNS, we need to not only do good deeds, but hold ourselves accountable to make sure that we are advancing our education and our practice, and most importantly have unstoppable advocacy.

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