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CNS Week 2021

September 1 - September 7

National Clinical Nurse Specialist Recognition Week (CNS Week) is September 1-7, 2021. The theme for this year is RISE of the CNS. Are you ready to celebrate? Download our celebration toolkit here!

What is CNS Week?

CNS week is an annual event that acknowledges the contributions of the nearly 90,000 Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) in North America.

NACNS established National CNS Recognition Week (CNS week) in 2009 to commemorate and celebrate the birth of Hildegard Peplau, who was born on September 1, 1909. Dr. Peplau was a prominent nursing theorist whose landmark book, Interpersonal Relations in Nursing, emphasized the nurse-client relationship as the foundation for nursing practice and today serves as the basis of the CNS role in health care.

CNS Week is a perfect time for CNSs to celebrate and bring attention to the role, and for hospitals and health care systems to pay tribute to the valuable part CNSs play in health care and health care delivery.

How is NACNS Celebrating?

NACNS will be sending communications to our audiences through email and social media during CNS week that embraces this year’s theme, RISE of the CNS. Every day, for seven days, NACNS will introduce new resources and tips to follow to help spread awareness of the CNS role. See below for the full schedule of the week.

What can you do?

Download our celebration toolkit, where we have compiled a list of resources that you can use to celebrate with your audience!

Download the Celebration Toolkit


NACNS Action Plan for CNS Week 2021

Wednesday, September 1: The RISE of the CNS

Honoring the birthday of Hildegard Peplau, communicating the story and history behind the CNS role and what makes it unique by celebrating the 12th anniversary of CNS week.

Learn more about Hildegard and the history behind the role.

Thursday, September 2: Throwback Thursday

Reminiscing on previous CNS weeks by sharing photos and stories.

We encourage you to send us photos/videos of your 2021 celebrations to so we can put something special together!

Friday, September 3: Recognizing CNSs that RISE to the Occasion

Commemorating NACNS members and recognizing those who have raised the profile of the CNS role, research, practice, education, and service.

Meet our 2021 CNS of the Year: Brittany Rhoades Ph.D., APRN, CCNS! NACNS is proud to share her accomplishments and thoughts on what it means to be CNS! Learn more about Brittany.

Saturday, September 4: RISE to Become a CNS

Sharing available resources that contribute to developing CNS education, the material on how to become a CNS, and ways current CNSs can inspire the next generation.

The Many Faces of the CNS Role video features three NACNS members and they share their definitions of what it means to be a CNS.

Sunday, September 5: NACNS is on the RISE

Fostering engagement in the CNS community and highlighting available networking opportunities.

We are delighted to share that we will be holding our first Town Hall on September 29, 2021! We encourage anyone interested in this unique opportunity to engage with NACNS leadership and other members to join! This event is free for NACNS members to attend and $60 for non-members to attend. Save your spot today.

Monday, September 6: Let’s RISE Together

Spotlighting the many allies in health care, affiliated institutions, state-level and regional common interest groups and external committees that work alongside NACNS to help to establish broader awareness and appreciation of the CNS role.

We sat down with Lt Colonel David Bradley of the Armed Forces, an NACNS Affiliation. Read the Q&A now to learn more about CNS’s and their role in the military.

Tuesday, September 7: RISE to Advance the CNS Role

Communicating ideas and resources to help with increasing the number of CNSs, advancing the CNS profession, and educating the public on the role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Did You Know: Nearly 20% of CNSs will reach retirement age over the next five years. Succession planning is an important way to fill this potential retirement gap in the ranks of the about 89,000 CNSs in North America. Our latest blog by NACNS President, Jan Powers discusses how succession planning will RISE UP to advance the CNS profession.


September 1
September 7


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