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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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.’





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 NOW OPEN.

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.

Consider applying for this recognition or nominate an outstanding CNS colleague. For the full description of eligibility criteria and instructions for applying, download the document here.

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

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)