Year: 2023


Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute Announces 2024 Class of Fellows

CNSI Institute

The Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute (CNSI) is pleased to announce the 2024 Class of CNSI Fellows. This is a highly prestigious honor and only awarded to those members of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) who epitomize the excellence of Clinical Nurse Specialist as leaders of the nursing profession, staunch advocates for patients and families, and forerunners of innovations to improve the health of populations. The new fellows will be inducted on Tuesday, March 12th during the NACNS 2024 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Guest tickets for attending the dinner event are available on the NACNS conference registration website.

The 2024 Class of Fellows are:

Elissa Brown, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC (California)
Jackeline Iseler, DNP, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CNE (Michigan)
Wendy M. Hamilton, Major, U.S. Army, DNP, APRN, AGCNS-BC, RN-BC (Hawaii)
Julie Kathman, DNP, APRN, CNS-BC, CPN, C-ONQS (Hawaii)
Mary O. Lawanson-Nichols, MSN, RN, CNS, NP, CCRN (California)
Joseph W. Liggett, MSN, RN, APNP, ACCNS-AG, CCRN (Wisconsin)
Julie M. Linder, DNP, APRN, CNS, ACCNS-AG, CCRN (North Carolina)
Jennifer Manning, DNS, ACNS-BC, CNE (Louisiana)
Jennie Matays, DNP, RN, CNS, CCRN, CCNS (California)
Nicholas O’Neel, Major, U.S. Army, DNP, ARNP (Hawaii)
Pamela Jane Nye, MS, RN, CNS-BC, CNRN, SCRN (California)
Amy Patterson, MSN, APRN, AOCNS, BMTCN (Florida)
Jan Powers, PhD, RN, CCRN, CCNS, NE-BC, FCCM, FAAN (Indiana)
Rosemary A. Timmerman, DNP, APRN, CCNS, CCRN-CSS-CMC (Alaska)
Patricia K. Tuite, PhD, RN, CCNS (Pennsylvania)

In 2016, the CNSI was founded as an arm of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS). Its goal is to develop and promote the charitable, educational, innovative clinical practice and scientific purposes of NACNS. Today, the Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute is the 501(c)3 arm of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.


Ask Mitzi Anything: Professional Development, Trends, and Advocacy for the Clinical Nurse Specialist 

In this quarter’s edition, explore how NACNS aids in professional development, tackles challenges in the clinical nurse specialist role, and discover resources for staying updated on healthcare advancements and advocacy efforts at the state and national levels.

1. How does NACNS support the professional development of clinical nurse specialists?

We make this a priority at NACNS by using a variety of strategies. Our many committees are constantly working on toolkits to aid in such development. For example, our Professional Development Committee is currently working on coding and billing toolkits. Our Research, EBP and Scholarship Committee is working to update the CNS Outcomes White Paper, and our Leg/Reg Committee just completed an Executive Summary on CNS Title Protection that CNSs can use in their worksites and HR departments.

We also host many learning activities throughout the year, such as our Annual Conference. We put in countless hours to host an extraordinary event for CNSs and always at a reduced discount for our members to attend and receive plenty of professional development opportunities.

We also feature webinars and courses currently hosted on our website. We will continue to explore new ways to meet our members’ professional needs and hope to bring back a consistent webinar series, much like we had in the pre-COVID years.

Our level of opportunities for volunteerism and leadership positions in NACNS is also noteworthy. Being involved as a volunteer is one of the most important ways to grow professionally. 

2. Can you share insights on the current trends and challenges in the field of clinical nurse specialist practice?

A current trend in the CNS practice is a movement towards more CNSs gaining prescriptive privileges and/or authority. CNSs need to function at the full scope of practice and be writing orders as needed at the point of care to make the biggest impact and show CNS value in direct care.

One challenge CNSs are facing is the barriers to the full scope of practice imposed by healthcare systems, i.e., professional inequity towards CNSs. Other challenges are when CNSs focus too little on the direct care role, moving them further and further away from patient care and having more difficulty showing value as APRNs.

3. What resources or initiatives does NACNS provide to help CNS professionals stay updated on the latest advancements in healthcare?

I think attending our conference in person or virtually is one of the best ways to stay updated. I think the networking opportunities among members are another excellent and underutilized resource. Here at NACNS, we have a wealth of expertise, and I know CNSs are willing to share their expertise with others. I think being on committees as a volunteer or a taskforce to meet others is also an invaluable opportunity for networking and creating new partnerships among CNSs.

4. How does NACNS advocate for the role of clinical nurse specialists at both the state and national levels? 

There is a saying: “If you are not at the table, you are on the menu.” Your membership dollars help us to stay at the table. We are currently on major APRN groups and attending major conferences of importance to make sure the CNS role is visible. We just started that practice a year ago and want to continue it.

We are also focused on growing enrollments in CNS programs and public awareness of the role. We are now having booths at conferences we know can attract nurses to the role, like the National Student Nurses Association’s annual conference. We just launched a new user-friendly and updated CNS Program Directory to facilitate getting interested nurses in the role in front of program directors faster. We also started a new CNS Program Directors Council this year so NACNS can better support our CNS programs to grow the numbers of CNSs.

Position statements are also important. We work hard on them every year to help CNSs in practice advocacy efforts. We recently passed the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Full Practice Authority position statement and the Title Protection for CNSs PositionStatement will be available for public comment in early 2024.

These are just a few of the many, many activities NACNS does to support CNS practice nationwide. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on all the exciting things we are up to!


Congratulations to Summer 2023 CNS Program Graduates!

Dear Summer 2023 Graduates,

Congratulations on your recent graduation from a CNS program!

I believe the best thing about being a new CNS is the autonomy. Suddenly, you have the freedom to expand your practice and thinking and make changes happen with authority — the very changes that prompted you to become a CNS in the first place.

The ability to crack the egg wide open on all the knowledge, skills, and experience you have paired with CNS leadership, you can now practice at the highest level, the APRN level — and even diagnose and prescribe medical care.

But take my advice: partner well with the C-suite, or your boss’s boss. Listen to their needs and take them to the front lines. Express to them the needs of nurses, too! Also, establish physician partnerships and be bold in letting them know what you can do as a CNS. You need these relationships of trust and respect to develop your set of healthcare system privileges to practice to the full extent of your capabilities.

Finally, create and update your dashboards often and distribute quarterly reports on your activities and outcomes. Never assume others know what you are doing. All professions have to validate their work, and we are no different.

Now, enjoy being in the best nursing role—the CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST! And don’t forget to splash your achievements all over social media to grow this incredible role across the globe and celebrate you.

Best,
Dr. Mitzi
NACNS President (2023-2024)


Edgewood College

Jonathan Milton

Gwynedd Mercy University

Lauren Adams

Indiana University

Sonia Hedge

Liberty University

Kylie Weant

Michigan State University

Emily Hapner
Sophie Petti

Point Loma Nazarene University

Juan Fernando Manuel Montano
Merari Morales
Kona Yang

Purdue University Northwest

Julia Chase
Kassandra Hyde

St. John Fisher University

Cynthia Burgess
Elizabeth Willome

Texas Christian University

Natalie Raincsuk

UCLA

Kate Echereodo

University of Colorado

Megan John

University of Minnesota

Rachel Tien

University of South Alabama

Shiny George
Kelsie Otten
Coral Pettit

University of Southern Indiana

Kelly Duke
Ashley Eads

University of Virginia

Candace Melendez

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Zeineb Selmane


Eight Distinguished Clinical Nurse Specialists Elected to 2024 NACNS Leadership

NACNS Continues to Advocate for 89,000 Clinical Nurse Specialists in the U.S.

RESTON, VA – Oct. 25, 2023 – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) today announced it welcomes three new members to its Board of Directors and introduces its President-Elect and Nominating Committee Members.

The NACNS serves as the representative body for clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) across the U.S. These highly skilled professionals are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with specialized graduate-level training in nursing. They possess the authority to diagnose, treat, prescribe, and improve outcomes by providing direct patient care, leading evidence-based practice, optimizing organizational systems, and advancing nursing practice.

Mitzi Saunders, Ph.D., APRN, ACNS-BC and President of NACNS, emphasized that NACNS Board Members play a vital leadership function within the organization, serving as the foremost champions for the 89,000 CNSs in the U.S.

“Our recently elected leadership’s dedication to leading the next generation of CNSs transcends the boundaries of NACNS and extends to their patients and the institution they serve, as CNSs possess a unique skill set enabling them to excel both at the bedside and in clinical or educational capacities. I’d like to thank them for their unwavering commitment to the CNS role,” she said.

The 2023 President-Elect, Jennifer Manning, DNS, ACNS-BC, CNE​, shared her excitement for the year to come.

“I am very excited and honored to step into the role of President for NACNS in 2024. This is a pivotal time for Clinical Nurse Specialists, and I am committed to advocating for the invaluable contributions they make to healthcare. Together with the dedicated members of NACNS, I look forward to advancing our profession, ensuring the highest quality of care for patients, and strengthening the impact of Clinical Nurse Specialists nationwide,” she said.

Newly elected leadership includes: 

2024 President-Elect

  • Rick Bassett, MSN, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, FCNS

Board of Directors

  • David F. Bradley, Jr., Lt Col, USAF, AGCNS-BC, CNOR, FCNS
  • Kayla Little, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, PCCN
  • Jeannette (Jeannie) Meyer, RN, MSN, CCRN-K, CCNS, PCCN-K, ACHPN

Nominating Committee Members

  • Linda Cole, DNP, RN, APRN, CCNS, CPHQ, CNE, FCNS
  • Jesse Michael Hartmann, DNP, APN, AGCNS-BC, CNAMB, CNOR, CSSM, RNFA, MAJ, Army, Nurse Corps
  • Brittany D. Rhoades, Ph.D., APRN, CCNS, CCTN
  • Allegra Del Rio, MS, BSN, AGCNS, MEDSURG-BC

About The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

The NACNS is the only national association in the U.S. representing the CNS. It is committed to showing the value of the CNS as an APRN, embracing full practice authority for all CNSs, providing support to individual CNSs, CNS programs, and entities employing CNSs, and achieving and maintaining organizational excellence. NACNS strives to meet its vision that every CNS is an APRN with a full scope of practice and is a transformative innovator leading improvement across healthcare environments. For more information, or to join NACNS, click here.

Media Contact
Melissa Bednar
NACNS Public Relations
Tel: +1 781.876.8962
Email: mbednar@virtualinc.com


Ask Mitzi Anything: Different Types of CNSs & More

Hello readers! In this edition continue reading to learn about the process for becoming a CNS, CNSs in the operating room, if there are primary care pediatric CNSs and more! 

Q: What is the process for becoming a CNS? What qualifications are required for a CNS?

A CNS is an advanced practice registered nurses who have graduate preparation (Master’s or Doctorate) in nursing. Like other advanced practice registered nurses, they are trained in advanced physiology, pharmacology and physical assessment in addition to their particular areas of specialty. They can diagnose, treat, prescribe and bill like other APRNs as allowed by their state regulations. For a comprehensive document with recommendations for becoming a CNS, please see our Entry for Practice Position Statement and our CNS Program Directory for a lists of schools that offer CNS education. 

Q: Is there such a thing as CNS for operating rooms/surgery?

Yes, a CNS can work in any setting or specialty population. The role goes anywhere there are complex patients and the surgery setting is always complex. 

Q: What is the pathway for an Oregon Nurse-Attorney (BSN/JD) to become a CNS solely for the purpose of providing advanced care planning and assisting clients with the completion of advance directives? No prescriptive authority is desired?

That is not the role of the CNS. You do not need a CNS to do that but if you feel you need the credentials to be able to advise at that level, then the CNS is a good one but you would be prepared well beyond that small piece of what a CNS can do. 

Q: Are there both primary care and acute care certifications for pediatric CNSs like there are for nurse practitioners?

No, just one and CNSs are not primary care providers. The only exam is the acute care exam through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). You can download the test plan on their website. 

For more information, feel free to reach out to Mitzi at (734) 355-2792. 

 


NACNS Shows a Strong Start to 2023

There have been so many great things happening that it’s hard to believe that the year is half over. Thanks to the hard work of the membership, we’ve scored a lot of wins we can all feel proud of so far. As people wind down for summer vacations, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished in the first half of the year.

In this article, we’ll talk about new committees, a new scholarship, a great conference, education updates, and the regulatory and legislative work we’ve done.

Two New Committees to Encourage Younger Members

In 2023, we started the Next Gen committee to build public awareness of the CNS role using Instagram and TikTok. Their second meeting took place on July 21, and they’re already excited about helping to promote the role on these wildly popular social platforms — stay tuned for the links.

The Novice to Exceptional Transformational (N.E.X.T.) CNSs also started this year, with their first meeting coming soon – and we’ll be sure to announce it. N.E.X.T. CNSs includes our 300 CNS student members and over 80 transition-to-practice members — our highest numbers ever for these groups. 

The committee is about helping new CNSs transition into their careers. Experienced CNSs nurture and mentor them, teach leadership skills, and provide all kinds of tips to help them launch their careers. Samantha Knight, a CNS student, is their first facilitator.

Annual Conference was a Huge Success

In March, our annual conference saw one of our highest attendance numbers yet. We had over 120 podium presentations including 12 pharmacology presentations. The increase in pharmacology presentations will only continue with the shifting paradigm of CNS practice to prescribing roles. We hope to have 25 pharmacology presentations at the next conference in New Orleans (March 10-13 2024).

Encouraging Diversity

In June, NACNS President Mitzi Saunders was a guest on a webinar for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses — an organization with thousands of members in 40 local chapters. You can watch the video on YouTube, moderated by Mayra Garcia, who is a CNS.

We had an extra 20 minutes of excellent questions at the end. A few of the people who attended are interested in the CNS role and have reached out to us to get more information or to get started. We need more diversity in the CNS role, and with this video, we are trying to do our part!

A New Partnership for Stronger Practice

The Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare promotes improved evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation science. NACNS has signed a contract with them for a partnership to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our members in terms of implementation science. A timeline is being worked on for a January 2024 rollout (keep an eye out at that time for a webinar signup).

To support this initiative, ex-officio board member and CNS Journal Editor Jan Fulton and a small strategic planning group have led the creation of a new Center of Excellence for Implementation Science. This Center will lead the execution of improvement initiatives once we’ve worked with the Helene Fuld team to understand our needs. This is a big opportunity to grow our strengths in this regard.

Finding New Ways to Share Our Census Data

Very soon we’ll be sharing two highly visual infographics that will introduce a storytelling element to the results of our 2022 census. Once you have them, we encourage you to share them, print them, and post them where you work as a conversation starter.

One of the most significant takeaways about the Census is the wonderful level of engagement. COVID hurt nursing badly, and some nurses even left the profession. Not everyone embraces a situation like this and tries to help, but our CNSs stepped forward.

Similarly, for the last three years, CNSs have ranked higher in career satisfaction than any other group (RN, LPN, NP, NM, NA, and CNS) in the Medscape survey; they saw the need for more nursing support. CNSs come to this career because they want to make a change happen, and there was no better time to do that than during COVID.

Partnership with Consultant on NACNS Messaging

Dr. Winifred Quinn of AARP is a non-nurse consultant with expertise in communications who assists nurses in practicing to the limit of their education. We’re working with her on primary target audiences and messaging.

She recommended that we highlight patient and family outcomes. She also recommended that we target the roles who are the ultimate decision-makers about using CNSs in healthcare systems: CFOs and CEOs. They are responsible for the financial health of their businesses, so we need to showcase the financial wins that CNSs are able to achieve. 

New Scholarship

The Katie Brush Critical Care CNS Scholarship was created in honor of Katie Brush, who suddenly passed in 2007. She was a strong CNS advocate, an NACNS board member, and critical care clinical nurse specialist for over ten years at Massachusetts General. We will announce this year’s awardees very soon.

Regulatory Action and Wins

New Position Statements

We created two new position statements: Entry for CNS Practice Position Statement and Clinical Nurse Specialist Full Practice Authority, with a third paper submitted for comments from our members. Two more are coming soon, one on title and role protection and the other on our position on compact states. In a nutshell, we’re for the concept of being able to practice in multi-state groups, but against the red tape that means we have to do more work to do what we do. 

ANA Hill Day

On June 15, NACNS members supported the American Nurses Association for ANA Hill Day. Linda Thurby-Hay, our secretary-treasurer, was on-site to formally represent NACNS, along with an enthusiastic group that included Pamela Moss, board members, CNS at Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as many other NACNS members.

This was our first year organizing a group to attend, but everyone who was there have said that they would definitely go again. We’re speaking with the CNS Institute to get funding so that more participants can attend next year. 

We are also looking at organizing also our own “mini” Hill Day. The Legislation and Regulatory Committee is working on this, led by chair and co-chair Elizabeth Duxbury and Elizabeth Hoxie, along with board liaison Rick Bassett.

A Win in Maryland

On May 3, the Governor of Maryland signed a bill giving clinical nurse specialists in the state to have prescriptive authority. While this was not an NACNS-led initiative, it is a huge milestone for CNSs in Maryland and all over the country.

NPI Campaign Continues

The campaign to encourage more CNSs to get NPI numbers continues. This is important because we want to change the Bureau of Labor statistics classification of CNSs from RNs to APRNs. Only when enough CNSs have NPI numbers can we work towards getting the classification corrected.

More Important Ongoing Work

We have many more important goals that we are working on.

Our EDGE learning platform is now in year two, and we have overwhelming engagement on the platform! We have four bundles of courses we’re developing this year, including more pharmacology. We’ll continue to develop courses and webinars and other materials to ensure our members have a convenient way to earn CE credits. It’s all about CNSs teaching CNSs, and we have a lot of talent in the group.

The work towards CNS recruitment and enrollment also continues. We have too few CNSs out there, too few programs, and too few students in those programs. One of the best marketing tools for something like this is word of mouth, so we’re trying to ensure that all of our students feel supported and well-mentored so they spread the word to their friends and colleagues. 

We’re also trying to appear on more podcasts to bring greater visibility to the CNS role.

Stay Connected for All the Latest Updates

There’s still so much to do, and always more to accomplish — but as they say, time flies when you’re having fun. To find out all of our new updates as they happen, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists Releases 2022 Census Results

Data Shows Next Generation of CNSs Ready to Improve Healthcare for Everyone

RESTON, Va. – July 25, 2023 – New data shows that clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) want to further expand in order to use all of their training and education, according to results of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2022 Census of the CNS profession. The census was co-sponsored by the Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute. 

An infographic based on census data called “Leading the Next Generation: Insights from the 2022 NACNS Census” shows an opportunity for a strong new generation of CNSs with almost 30% intending to retire within the next five years. An infographic of the 2022 census is available. 

CNSs help to improve outcomes for patients and their families, improve skills and workplace experiences for nurses, and improve business efficiency for healthcare providers. Giving physical assessments, diagnosing and prescribing are all part of CNS education and training; however, some states and systems do not take advantage of CNSs’ full ability. 

“The data demonstrates the urge CNSs have to utilize their full potential in the workplace,” said Mitzi Saunders, Ph.D., APRN, ACNS-BC and NACNS president. “Our members confirmed that they want NACNS to support them so they receive role validation, title protection and state recognition. Right now, more than half of the surveyed CNSs feel like they don’t have hospital or healthcare system privileges that match their education and training. These are numbers we are hoping to change in the coming years.” 

NACNS surveys CNSs every four years collecting both demographic and professional data. Over 1,600 CNSs responded to the 2022 survey, with almost 65% being a member of NACNS. 

About the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) is the only national association representing the clinical nurse specialist (CNS). CNSs are the most versatile advanced practice registered nurses and work in a variety of health care specialties to ensure the delivery of high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. As leaders in the acute, post-acute, and ambulatory health care settings, CNSs impact direct patient care, nurses and nursing practice, and organizations and systems to optimize care and drive outstanding clinical outcomes. NACNS is dedicated to advancing CNS practice and education, and removing unnecessary and limiting regulatory barriers while assuring public access to quality CNS services. Learn more and discover the benefits of joining the NACNS.

Media Contact
Jennifer Priest
NACNS Public Relations
jpriest@virtualinc.com


“Be a Part of the Next Generation of Clinical Nurse Specialists” Webinar with NACNS, Hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN)

NAHN and NACNS invite you to explore the field of the clinical nurse specialist and all the opportunities within the role. Clinical nurse specialists (CNS) are leaders in healthcare. Like other advanced practice registered nurses, they are trained in advanced physiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment in addition to their particular areas of specialty. They can diagnose, treat, prescribe, and bill like other APRNs as their state regulations allow.

This 60-minute webinar discusses:

  • The CNS role and the many ways it is operationalized at the APRN level
  • CNS education and how it prepares graduates
  • The differences in RN and APRN practice
  • Why a CNS program is the best choice for most nurses seeking graduate-level education
  • How to identify CNS programs and the next steps to apply

Moderators include Mayra Garcia, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC and Crystal Loucel, RN, PHN, CDCES, HWNC-BC, AHN-BC, MPH, MS. The speaker is Mitzi M. Saunders, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, President, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS).


The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists Opposes Recent Policy by the American Medical Association House of Delegates to License and Regulate APRNs

Mitzi M. Saunders, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, president of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) and the Board of Directors issued the following statement strongly opposing the American Medical Association House of Delegates (AMA HOD) recent policy that “certified nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists shall be licensed and regulated jointly by the state medical and nursing boards.”1(p7)

NACNS embraces collective decision-making based on the best available evidence, health care needs of the present and future, and respect for multiple perspectives before solutions are considered.2 The above referenced policy1 was thoroughly reviewed and provides no existing evidence that oversight by state medical boards at any level of nursing practice would benefit patient outcomes. Such oversight could lead to increasing health care access challenges, increasing health care disparities, and a worsening of patient outcomes created by unnecessary regulation from the boards of medicine in an attempt to govern advanced nursing practice. Professions are autonomous in regulating their own ethical standards, competencies of practice, regulations, and legal standards that align with their educational, certification, and licensure requirements. Nursing is a highly regulated and trusted profession practiced at various levels (RN and APRN) and therefore, only nursing truly understands how to effectively regulate nursing practice.

At this point in time, there is no foundational evidence to support the AMA HOD’s policy. Regulation of nursing licensure (even joint regulation) by a profession outside of nursing poses unnecessary oversight, the risk for incorrect regulation, and potential for harm to patients which must remain central in all decisions that impact nursing practice. The cost of making decisions based on opinions, emotions, beliefs, and preferences instead of evidence-informed decisions might have devastating results for patients.

Respectfully,
NACNS Board of Directors

References

  1. Geline, R. American Medical Association House of Delegates (A-23) Report of Reference Committee B. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/a23-refcomm-b-annotated.pdf
  2. National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists. Mission and Goals. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://nacns.org/about-us/mission-and-goals/

Ask Mitzi Anything: How to Create a CNS Dashboard & More

Hello readers! This edition read on to hear Mitzi discuss how to create a CNS dashboard, career path advice, if a CNS is considered a nurse practitioner, and more! 

Q: Do you have any specific recommendations for how to create a CNS dashboard?

Yes, start with what you know as baseline data. Know your exact product of CNS intervention. Is it patient satisfaction, nurse satisfaction, reducing length of stay, reducing readmission rates in complex patients, prescribing medications to decrease inefficiencies in care, completion of major projects as project lead, etc.? What are your products? Get the data from the last 12 months (LTM). Put it in a table. Then, start recording data every month on the same day. Your interventions should be clearly listed out as well. That way, over the months, you will know which interventions work the best and which are not moving the dial to the better (pivot time). Dashboards are critical and every CNS regardless of role or title should be using them and updating them every month. 

Q: As a current LVN in California taking psychology online for my bachelor’s, what would recommend I do next? Whether I’m able to start now or after achieving my degree?

I assume LVN stands for Licensed Vocational Nurse. You would need your RN at minimum to enter a graduate nursing program. The minimum level is BSN but some programs allow an RN (non-BSN) to MSN bridge in that a gap analysis is undertaken to see if you have completed enough courses or work experience in research, leadership, and community based nursing. Those are key components that differentiate the bachelor’s and non-bachelor’s degree in nursing. You will need to first address the BSN component and qualifications. It can be done but will take some work on your part to meet with a CNS program director to figure it out. See our CNS program directory for assistance in locating an all online program or a face-to-face program near you. 

Q: Is a CNS still considered a nurse practitioner?

No, a CNS is not considered a nurse practitioner (NP) and an NP is not a CNS. The two are unique APRN roles and titles. However, the CNS can do the advanced direct care role much the same as the NP as training in CNS programs is similar in that way. 

Q: Are affiliates permitted to accept non-CNSs (i.e. other APRN roles) into their affiliate group meetings?

That all depends on the affiliate’s definition of membership in their Bylaws. I suggest you get a copy of the Bylaws and go from there. Next, talk to the President of the affiliate about any concerns you have. You mention “meetings” – that is a big “it depends” and up to the leadership to decide who attends meetings and again, based on the Bylaws. 

For more information, feel free to reach out to Mitzi at (734) 355-2792.