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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2018 Advocacy Grants

The CNS Institute held a targeted fundraising campaign from December 31, 2017 to January 31, 2018 to establish a special fund to be used by NACNS affiliates and other state CNS groups for advocacy. Grant proposals  emphasized educating policymakers about the role of clinical nurse specialists and the importance of enabling CNSs to practice to the full scope of their education and training.

Grants were awarded to the following NACNS affiliates:

  • Orlando Health, Inc
  • Virginia Association of Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Wisconsin Nurses Association


CNS Institute Events at the 2020 Annual Conference:


Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Fellowship Induction Dinner. For more information on Sponsoring opportunities click HERE or contact


CNSI Fellows will be recognized at the 2020 Annual Conference with a special FCNS pin. Moreover, the Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute Fellowship allows CNSs to add the FCNS credential to their title which furthers their professionalism. Lastly, in this informal role, CNSI fellows  will be an ambassador and model of excellence to other Clinical Nurse Specialists.

The Application for the 2020 CNSI Fellowship Program is open and will close on September 16,2019.

Please open the CNSI 2020 Fellows Application Instructions document for the eligibility criteria and instructions for applying for consideration as a Fellow of CNSI.

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

2019 CNS Institute Board of Trustees  

Chair: Melissa Craft, PhD, APRN-CNS, AOCN
Interim Associate Dean for Academic Administration and Graduate Education, University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Vice Chair: Sharon Horner, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Dean for Research, Dolores V. Sands Chair in Nursing Research, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Treasurer: Susan B. Fowler, PhD, RR, CNRN, FAHA
Nurse Scientist, Center for Nursing Research, Orlando, Florida

Trustee: Gayle Timmerman, PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas

Trustee: Jan Powers, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN, CNRN, FCCM
Director of Nursing Research and Professional Practice, Parkview Regional Health System, Indianapolis, IN

Trustee: Kathleen Evanovich Zavotsky PhD, RN, CCRN, CEN, ACNS-BC, FAEN, FCNS
Assistant Vice President, The Center for Professional Development, Innovation and Research, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital(Not in photo)