Category: Announcements


Establishment of a clinical nurse specialist-led, virtual aneurysm surveillance clinic

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated significant changes to the manner in which healthcare is delivered. Chief among these has been the need to rapidly adopt virtual, or telephone clinics as a means of reducing unnecessary patient exposure to hospitals and clinical care settings. We were greatly aided in our adoption of virtual clinics by our experience in the establishment and maintenance of a Clinical Nurse Specialist-led, virtual clinic for both abdominal aortic (AAA) and extra-aortic aneurysm (EAA) surveillance within our department since 2016. Patients undergoing surveillance for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) require frequent and lifelong clinical review. Previous studies have shown that post-operative surveillance in particular is critical in prolonging survival in AAA patients and in the early detection of late complications particularly following endovascular repair (EVAR). Poor compliance with EVAR surveillance has been shown to result in worse outcomes.

AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the success of a nurse-led virtual clinic programme in terms of the safe management of patients undergoing AAA surveillance in a nurse-led virtual clinic.

RESULTS: Over the course of the 4-year period from 2016 to 2019, 1352 patients were enrolled in the virtual aneurysm surveillance clinic. The majority of patients each year were male, ranging from 78.2% in 2016 to 85.2% in 2017. The majority of patients encountered the service owing to pre-operative surveillance of an AAA, with this group comprising at least 65% of the total cohort of patients each year.Over the course of the 4-year period of the virtual clinic there were 1466 patient encounters. Each ambulatory day care centre (ADCC) attendance normally costs the hospital €149. Therefore, a total saving of €218,434 resulted from this initiative alone. No patient presented as an emergency with a ruptured aneurysm during the time period studied.

CONCLUSION: Patients with AAA can be safely kept under surveillance in a nurse-led virtual clinic. Our experience with this model of care proved to be particularly advantageous during the period of the early COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more


National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists 2022 Award Winners and New Board Announced

National Awards Recognize Clinical Nurse Specialists for Outstanding Professional Achievement 

RESTON, VA – March 23, 2022 – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) recently unveiled its 2022 award winners, president, president-elect and new board of directors at its Annual Conference. Phyllis Whitehead, PhD, APRN/CNS, ACHPN, PMGT-BC, FNAP, FAAN was elected president and Mitzi Saunders, PhD, APRN, CNS-C. was elected president-elect of NACNS. New board members include: 

  • Rick Bassett, MSN, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, FCNS
  • Susan Dresser, PhD, MSN, APRN-CNS, FCNS
  • Cherrie Pullium, DNP APRN ACNS-BC, FCNS

NACNS is the national, non-profit organization representing the 89,000 clinical nurse specialists (CNS) in the United States and is dedicated to advancing the practice and education of CNSs. CNSs are one of the four Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN).

Twelve CNS Award Winners Honored

The twelve award winners were honored for their professional achievements and contributions to advancing the CNS profession in the United States. Award winners were nominated and selected to receive the honors by their APRN peers. More NACNS Award Program information can be found here. 

“These twelve award winners represent everything CNSs stand for; professionalism, community, and excellence,” said Phyllis Whitehead, PhD, APRN/CNS, ACHPN, PMGT-BC, FNAP, FAAN and president, NACNS. “In 2022 we are looking forward to honoring these and more CNSs who have shown exceptional dedication to the profession.” 

2022 NACNS National Award Winners

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year: 2022 Recipient: Kathleen Hopkins, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Educator of the Year Award: 2022 Recipient: Lynn Mohr, PhD, APRN, PCNS-BC, CPN, FCNS
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Evidence-Based Practice / Quality Improvement of the Year Award: 2022 Recipient: Lynne Brophy, MSN, PGMT-BC, APRN-CNS, AOCN
  • Armed Forces Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year Award: 2022 Recipient: Wendy Hamilton, DNP, APRN, AGCNS-BC, RN-BC
  • Rising Star Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year Award: 2022 Recipient: Kayla Little, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, PCCN
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Researcher of the Year Award: 2022 Recipient: Tina Mason, PhD, APRN, AOCN, AOCNS, FCNS
  • NACNS Affiliate of the Year Award: 2022 Recipient: Virginia Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Mentor of the Year Award: 2022 Recipient: Commander Karen Flanagan, ACCNS-AG, AGACNP-BC, CEN
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Preceptor of the Year Award: 2022 Recipient: Jennie Matays, MS, RN, CNS, CCNS, CCRN
  • Sue B. Davidson Service Award: 2022 Recipient: Lynn Mohr, PhD, APRN, PCNS-BC, CPN, FCNS
  • Brenda Lyon Leadership Award: 2022 Recipient: Kimberly Elgin DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, CMSRN
  • President’s Award: 2022 Recipient: Sean M. Reed, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, ACHPN, FCNS

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 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. For more information or to join NACNS click here.


You’re invited: Join a listening session with HHS and HRSA leadership

Friday, August 20, 2021
1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Register Today

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are gathering feedback and we want to hear from you. How can we better support practicing nurses? How might we grow and strengthen the nursing workforce within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the lasting impacts of the pandemic on nurse staffing shortages?

As a valued stakeholder, you are invited to give HRSA senior leadership direct feedback on how we can better support the nursing workforce.

Please also feel free to share this invitation within your organization, particularly with individuals with front-line experience as practicing nurses during the pandemic.

Before the session, we are asking for your responses to the following questions: 

  • What are the opportunities for the nursing community to help address the challenges facing health care organizations responding to COVID-19?
  • What mechanisms are in place to support nurses in your organization to promote resiliency, retain nurses during surges, and avoid burnout? What more do you need?
  • What could be done to support new nurses entering the workforce during the pandemic?

Your responses will facilitate robust dialogue during the listening session discussion. You can provide your responses in the registration form or email us your  comments/responses.

Register by Monday, August 16

Unable to attend? You can send responses or interest in future listening session opportunities to Winnie Chen.


CU Nursing Students to Present at NACNS Conference

Four students in the University of Colorado College of Nursing Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist master’s program are getting a taste of academic life by presenting research addressing commonly encountered problems in critical care settings. The students will present during the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) annual conference March 9 – 11, 2021 that is being held virtually.

An essential component of CU Nursing’s master’s program includes students identifying clinical problems where they work, finding a gap in care in their organizations, studying it, and providing evidence-based solutions for improvement. These commonly encountered problems in critical care settings become the basis for their evidence-based practice capstone project and presentation. “It’s an excellent way to put action into practice and to think critically and institute best practices while on the job,” said CU College of Nursing Professor and Clinical Nurse Specialist Program Director Mary Beth Makic, PhD. CU Nursing encourages students to present at conferences, write an article and submit for publication. “This provides our students with experience in addressing issues at their workplace and presenting solutions to management,” said Makic.

The four students tackled a variety of topics including how to reduce hospital acquired pressure injuries, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and workplace violence through prevention training. The following outlines each student’s topic of research.

Title: Hospital Acquired Pressure Injury (HAPI) Bundle

Hanna Betts, BSN, RN, Nurse, United States Army

With the incidence of hospital acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) increasing nationally, the purpose of this quality improvement project is to measure practice change of a HAPI bundle and how it will impact HAPI rates when compared to current practice among adult medical patients in a 36-bed medical unit. The national practice guidelines identify prevention as the most essential element in combating HAPIs. Therefore, this literature supported, four-part HAPI bundle will aide in increasing communication, assessments, patient education, and interventions to combat HAPIs. Outcomes are still pending as implementation has been delayed due to the increased strain on staff secondary due to COVID-19.

Title: Evaluating the Impact of Workplace Violence Prevention Training for Graduate Nurses

Kristen Caldwell, BSN, MA, United States Air Force

Workplace violence creates a significant burden in healthcare. Consequences can include low morale, decreased productivity, increased employee turnover, loss of team cohesiveness, as well as various financial impacts for the victim and the healthcare system. Creating an effective workplace violence prevention program can help nurses better understand the scope and nature of workplace violence while learning how to apply individual strategies and develop skills for preventing and responding to workplace violence. The purpose of this evidence-based practice project was to investigate the implementation of Workplace Violence (WPV) prevention training for new graduate Registered Nurse’s (RNs) in the Nurse Residency Program (NRP) and its impact on perception and confidence towards aggression and/or violence perpetuated by the patient/family member/visitor. Thackrey’s Confidence in Coping with Patient Aggression (CCPA) tool was used to evaluate effectiveness of WPV training both prior to training and directly after training. Overall, post-training CCPA tool results showed a slight increase in confidence coping with aggressive patients (4.6/10 to 5.2/10). During the training, NRP RNs shared stories of their own experiences with WPV, desire for more support from management related to WPV prevention, and a desire to receive further training. Leadership should heed the desire and need for consistent WPV training in health care settings.

Title: Rounding and Quick Access Education to Reduce Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections: An Initiative to Improve Quality and Safety in Healthcare

Danielle Garcia, MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, Clinical Nurse Specialist, United States Army

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) result in increased morbidity, longer lengths of stay, and higher healthcare costs. Quality of care can be improved by frequently assessing the need for a urinary catheter and removing those no longer indicated. When urinary catheters are needed, maintenance interventions should be implemented continuously. The project was conducted in two 25-bed inpatient surgical units. The team developed a badge buddy with a quick response code that contained educational resources on CAUTI prevention. Registered nurse CAUTI champions were assembled and educated on CAUTI prevention techniques. CAUTI champions rounded on patients, auditing CAUTI bundle adherence, and recommending catheter removal when no indication was identified. CAUTI rates, indwelling urinary catheter utilization, and maintenance bundle adherence were measured. The implementation of these strategies has shown to reduce CAUTI by up to 70%. However, more time is needed to understand the effect of the project on nursing practice and patient outcomes.

Title: Only YOU can prevent Pressure Injuries!

Kelly Wild, RN BSN CCRN, ICU Charge RN, Parker Adventist Hospital

Hospital acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) are not only an indicator of nursing quality, but a financial drain on the healthcare system and increase patient mortality when they occur. This evidence-based project developed a pressure injury prevention (PIP) plan for an ICU experiencing an increase in HAPI rates and implemented it using a variety of educational techniques meant to improve nursing attitudes towards PIP. Four months after implementation, HAPI rates on the unit have decreased 88%.


Important News! Join the CMS for a Call on COVID-19 with Nurses March 26, 2020 at 3:00 PM EST

Important News!

Please join the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a call on COVID-19 with Nurses today at 3:00 PM EST. CMS leadership will provide updates on the agency’s latest guidance. There will be audience Q&A and an opportunity for you to share best practices with your peers. The call will be recorded if you are unable to join us. Please distribute this invitation to your colleagues and membership.

Participant Dial-In: (877) 251-0301
Conference ID 5408029

To keep up with the important work the White House Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19 click here: coronavirus.gov. For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.


NACNS Announcement About Ann Hamric

NACNS is sad to announce the unexpected passing of one of its CNS pioneers, Ann Hamric. She was a mentor, a friend, a colleague, and a teacher. Ann’s impact on the Clinical Nurse Specialist, her contributions to NACNS and to advanced nurse practitioners everywhere cannot be understated.

Ann Hamric was the senior editor of two books on advanced practice nursing used worldwide in nursing education: The Clinical Nurse Specialist in Theory and Practice (which as in its second edition), and Advanced Practice Nursing: An Integrative Approach (which was in its fifth edition). Most NACNS members have read or referenced one of Ann’s book during the course of their careers.

Click here to read a more in-depth tribute to Ann and her achievements. If you are in the Virginia area and want to attend, here are the details of her memorial service:

Friday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m., at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, 3601 Seminary Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227.