CNS Institute

The Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute (CNSI), founded in 2016 as an arm of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS), serves to develop and promote the charitable, educational, innovative clinical practice, and scientific purposes of NACNS.

The Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute is the The 501(c)3 arm of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

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The Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute (CNSI) promotes the scientific purposes of NACNS by providing research grant funding opportunities.

Special Call: CNSI Nursing Research Grant COVID-19

In alignment with the Institute’s mission and vision, the CNSI is seeking research proposals related to COVID-19 projects and/or investigations that focus on clinical nurse specialist efforts that address outcomes related to safety; health system processes; educational processes; health of patients, families, and/or nurses; and/or other pertinent domains.  Funding is available for < $2500. The Deadline for Applications is September 8, 2020. 

Learn more about the application qualifications here.

Fill out the application here.


2020 Funded Research Grants

The Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute would like to congratulate two NACNS members in receipt of research grant funding from monies provided through a charitable donation by Brenda Lyons:

  • Mary Pat Johnston, MS, RN, AOCN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Oncology, at the University of Wisconsin Cancer Center at ProHealth for her research study titled ‘Cancer Survivor Empowerment through Patient-Reported Outcomes’ and
  • Morgan Yordy, DNP, ACNS-BC, RN-BC at Auburn University School of Nursing for her research study titled ‘Improving Health Outcomes by Incorporating Animal Assisted Therapy in the K-12 School Setting.’





New Fellows Inducted in 2020

CNS Institute Events at the 2020 Annual Conference:

To enhance the vision and visibility of CNSs, the CNSI launched the Fellowship Program in 2019. CNSI Fellows have made significant and impactful contributions to advance the CNS role in their communities and state, and across the nation.

The Induction Ceremony on March 11 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, is an evening event to recognize and honor the new class of fellows. The Ceremony begins with dinner, followed by recognition of each new fellow with presentation of their FCNSI pin and certificate.


Click Here for More Information on Sponsorship Opportunities for the Fellowship Induction Dinner

Other sponsorship opportunities are available for the NACNS 2020 Annual Conference. For more information click HERE or contact


The Call for Fellows of the Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute is currently closed.

Identification as a CNSI Fellow is a prestigious honor and only awarded to those NACNS members 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.

2021 Fellows of CNSI

CNSI Fellowship Application Instructions

Click here for a list of all CNSI Fellows with their induction year.

Pay CNSI Fellow Dues

CNSI Video Competition

The winners for the 2019 Video Competition are:

First place in the Team Category
Lori Brittingham, MS, RN, CNS, ACCNS-N, of Reading Hospital for “The Reading Hospital CNS team: We Won’t Stop’’

First place in the Student Category
Lynda Mackin, PhD, AG PCNP-BC, CCNS, GS-C, UCSF School of Nursing, Class of 2019 Adult-Gerontology CNS
Students, for “Promoting the CNS Role”

Honorable Mention:
Barbara Hill, Emory Healthcare: What is a CNS
CNSDraft4 (1) – Small

Honorable Mention:
Katie Hopkins, Penn Medicine: Clinical Nurse Specialists: Influencing Clinical Care, Driving Value

2021 CNS Institute Board of Trustees  

Chair: Sharon Horner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Treasurer: Susan B. Fowler, PhD, RN, CNRN, CRRN, FAHA, FCNS

Trustee: Tracy B. Chamblee, PhD, APRN, PCNS-BC, AE-C, CPHQ, CPPS

Trustee: Scot Nolan, DNP, RN, CNS, CCRN, CNRN, FCNS

Trustee: Maureen A. Seckel, MSN, ACNS-BC, CCNS, CCRN, FCCM, FCNSI

Trustee: Heather A Shattuck, DNP, APRN, CCNS, ACNP-BC, FCNS

Trustee: Kathleen Zavotsky, PhD, RN, CCRN, CEN, ACNS-BC, FAEN, FCNSI