Mission and Goals

NACNS Mission

To advocate and advance the unique expertise and value the Clinical Nurse Specialist contributes to health care through policy, collaboration, and professional development.


The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists will:

  • Increase awareness of the value and differentiated skills of the CNS
  • Enable excellence in the CNS profession by providing high-quality educational resources and programs and fostering the creation of CNS curricula in nursing programs nationwide
  • Position CNS’ to practice at the top of their scope of practice

The association’s purposes were included in NACNS’ original organizational bylaws.  They represent the organization’s founding priorities. As of a bylaws update in 2012, the founding purposes of NACNS shall be to:

  • provide educational, networking, and mentoring opportunities for the continuing professional development of the clinical nurse specialist;
  • promote the visibility of clinical nurse specialists’ impact on cost, quality and access to nursing care to health care systems/organizations;
  • provide education to communities and/or health care organizations and the public regarding the unique contributions of clinical nurse specialists to the well-being of individuals and groups;
  • provide a forum for the identification and discussion of issues and trends that affect and shape the evolution of clinical nurse specialist practice;
  • promote the unification of clinical nurse specialists in their advanced practice roles regarding competencies, spheres of influence, standards of performance and educational preparation;
  • provide for the development and dissemination of position statements and white papers regarding health care policy issues pertinent to quality, cost and access to nursing care, strategies to improve the appropriate use of health care resources and the need for and preparation of clinical nurse specialists.
  • serve as a clearinghouse for information pertinent to clinical nurse specialists and clinical nurse specialist practice;
  • collaborate with other groups addressing issues of common concern to advanced practice nurses;
  • contribute to the body of knowledge regarding clinical nurse specialist practice and patient care;
  • promote the development of programs relevant to the preparation of clinical nurse specialist students;
  • provide opportunities for mentorship for clinical nurse specialist students and members interested in becoming active members of the professional organization;
  • represent the interests of clinical nurse specialists in legislative and regulatory processes.
  • represent the interests of clinical nurse specialists in licensing, accreditation, credentialing, and educational initiatives.

Help Spread the Word about NACNS

NACNS is the only organization working to support the role of the CNS. In order for our voice to have impact in Congress, we need the support of all CNSs. The more members NACNS has, the stronger our voice. To help spread that word, the Membership Committee has been hard at work putting together a script/elevator speech for everyone to use to describe NACNS and what it does for our profession. It can be copied and pasted in an email, or it can be used to help you articulate the value that you get from being a member of our organization. See the script/elevator speech here.

Download the Elevator Speech


NACNS 2022 Annual Report