Press Room

NACNS Leaders Named American Academy of Nursing Fellows

12 CNSs Honored as Distinguished Leaders

RESTON, VA – October 13, 2021 – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) announced today that Jan Powers, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN, NE-BC, FCCM, President and Phyllis Whitehead PhD, RN, APRN/CNS, ACHPN, PMGT-BC, FNAP, President-elect of NACNS were inducted into The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) 2021 Class of Fellows. The inductees were recognized for their significant contributions to health and health care at the Academy’s Annual Health Policy Conference, October 7-9, 2021. Out of the 89,000 CNSs in the United States, Powers and Whitehead are part of an elite group of 12 CNSs inducted into the AAN 2021 Class of Fellows:

Jan Powers, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN, NE-BC, FCCM, President of NACNS—Parkview Health, Fort Wayne, IN

Phyllis Whitehead, PhD, RN, APRN/CNS, ACHPN, PMGT-BC, FNAP, President-elect of NACNS – Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA

Gail E. Armstrong, PhD, DNP, ACNS-BC, RN, CNE – Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

Virginia Capasso, PhD, CNP, CNS, CWS, FACCWS – Massachusetts General Hospital, MA

Joanne DeSanto Iennaco, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC – Yale University, New Haven, CT

Linda S. Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, RN, CNS – Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Chicago, IL

Rebecca Bartlett Ellis, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC – Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Melanie Gibbons Hallman, DNP, RN, CNS, CRNP, FNP-BC, ACNP-BC, ENP-C, FAEN – University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL

Cynthia Taylor Handrup, DNP, PMHCNS-BC – University of Illinois Chicago, IL

Roberta Kaplow, PhD, APRN-CCNS, AOCNS, CCRN – Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA

Martha Mathews Libster, PhD, MSN, APRN-PMHCNS, APHN-BC – Rogers Behavioral Health, Wisconsin

Jamie Myers, PhD, RN, AOCNS – University of Kansas, Lawrence, KA

“The Academy aims to improve health and achieve health equity through nursing leadership, innovation, and science,” said Powers.  “The Academy now has over 2,900 Fellows, or members, who collaborate and create research-based policy initiatives to advance the field of health care.”

The AAN invites nurses in education, management, practice, and research every year to become Fellows. These members exhibit significant career accomplishments and are expected to contribute time and knowledge to enhance the quality of health and nursing, promote healthy aging and development, and shape healthy behaviors, among other responsibilities.

Powers was elected president of NACNS in March 2021 and has served as the Director of Nursing Research and Professional Practice at Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, IN, since 2015. She received her BSN, MSN, and PhD in Nursing from Indiana University.

Whitehead serves as the president-elect of NACNS, is a clinical ethicist and palliative care clinical nurse specialist with the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and is an Associate Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. She received her BSN and MSN from Radford University and earned her PhD at Virginia Tech.

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 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

About The American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) serves the public and nursing profession by advancing health policy through organizational excellence and effective nursing leadership. The Academy consists of approximately 2,900 Fellows, or members, in the roles of association executives, university presidents, chancellors and deans, elected officials, state and federal political appointees, hospital chief executives and vice presidents for nursing, nurse consultants, and researchers and entrepreneurs. Academy Fellows contribute time and effort to engaging with Fellow members of NACNS as well as health leaders outside the Academy to transform America’s health system. For more information on AAN, click here.


NACNS President Jan Powers To Present During National APP Week

National APP Week is dedicated to honoring Advanced Practice Providers

RESTON, VA – October 7, 2021 – NACNS President Jan Powers will participate in a discussion panel featuring five National Advanced Practice Providers (APP) Professional Organization presidents during the Inaugural National APP Week Virtual Kickoff Ceremony on October 11-15, 2021.

The inaugural event will bring together APP leaders from across the country, representing 75+ organizations and over 40,000 APPs. The goal of APP week is to recognize APPs as a unified group of Certified Registered Anesthetists (CRNAs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and Physician Assistants/Associates (PAs). The theme of this year’s National APP Week is “APPs United.” This theme is to highlight that during the pandemic, APPs were critical to many organizations while there were staff shortages.

“I am honored to have been chosen as a speaker for the inaugural APP Week Ceremony,” said Powers. “The ability for APPs and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)of  all backgrounds and organizations to come together and collaborate on practices and leadership will provide for increased engagement cross-functionally and a more unified approach to problem-solving.”

Speakers at National APP Week Virtual Kickoff Ceremony Panel Discussion:

  • Catherine Collins Fulea – DNP, CNM, FACNM, American College of Nurse Midwives
  • April Kapu – DNP, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Jennifer Orozco – PA-C, DFAAPA, American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • Jan Powers – PHD, RN, CCNS, CCRN, NE-BC, FCCM, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Dina Velocci – DNP, CRNA, APRN, American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology

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 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

About National APP Week

National Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Week honors the contribution of our various APPs including Physician Associate (Assistants), Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Certified Nurse-Midwives. This important group of providers elevate the fields of medicine and nursing to ensure our most vulnerable populations receive high-quality, evidence-based care. This week celebrates the hard work of these professionals and to raise awareness of their unique roles in healthcare. For more information about National APP Week, click here.


Success Story: The CNS As Credentialed Provider

The University of Virginia Health (UVA Health), serving the Greater Charlottesville/Albemarle region of Virginia, took the important step this month to validate its 14 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) as “credentialed providers.” This step formally recognizes CNSs as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN). UVA Health System includes a 631-bed hospital, level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers, and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia.

The entire credentialing approval process took four months and, today, CNSs at UVA Health can practice with full practice authority, ordering many services for patients based on their own professional assessment rather than relying exclusively on physician approval.

Kimberley Elgin, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, CMSRN, lead clinical nurse specialist of UVA Health, coordinated the credentialing effort. According to Elgin, the other three APRN roles (nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists) were already bundled underneath the credentialed provider structure and there was a growing need to recognize CNSs and align their level of responsibility and scope of practice with that of their APRN counterparts.

Beyond the interest in improving patients’ experiences, the ascension of CNSs to the status of credentialed providers means that UVA Health is in line with the CNS professional standards of practice. The change also will provide mechanisms for third-party billing of services provided by a CNS. At the same time, there is legislation in the Virginia General Assembly to elevate the scope of practice of the CNS to allow for prescriptive authority.

“There was a real need for credentialing CNSs,” said Elgin. “The fluidity of the CNS role is important, but it could lead to role confusion for colleagues. After centralizing the CNS team, I performed a systematic gap analysis, comparing our practice to the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) core competencies. Being able to validate our CNSs were ‘aligning with and meeting national standards’ is actionable language that is meaningful and powerful to an organization.”

NACNS core competencies can be found here. They include competencies in Direct Care, Consultation, Systems Leadership, Collaboration, Coaching, Research and Ethical Decision-Making, Moral Agency, and Advocacy.

The Benefits of Credentialing the CNS

As a credentialed provider, CNSs’ validation as an APRN by the UVA Health nursing body and interdisciplinary colleagues is helping to build the structures and processes that are necessary to facilitate reimbursement practices. Another significant improvement will be CNSs’ ability to formally consult other interdisciplinary clinicians without a physician co-signature. This efficient approach to patient care leverages the CNSs’ ability to generate revenue for the organization for the work they perform. Finally, and most importantly, validating a CNS as a credentialed provider creates an opportunity to rethink processes and structures around interprofessional practice and develop different and more efficient methods to work together in a healthcare setting.

A CNS-Credentialed Provider “How To”

The entire formal credentialing process at UVA Health took four months and involved the entire organization.

The process included working with stakeholders to obtain subcommittee approvals, a full vote by all of the organization’s clinical staff, and final approval by the UVA Health Board. Critical to the success of this effort was securing support from the chief nursing officer, director for advanced practice, as well as buy-in from the CNS team.

“Our CNSs had a vision for it, but we still put a lot of energy and effort into securing their buy-in,” said Elgin. “The change will create different workflows for our CNSs, so I needed them to be engaged in the credentialing process from the beginning if we were to be successful.”

The approval process started with the proposal being presented to the Advanced Practice Provider Subcommittee of the Organizational Credentialing Committee. Once approved, a recommendation was made to the Credentialing Committee to add CNSs as a provider type. Next, it was voted on and approved at the Credentialing Committee and the Credentialing Committee made their recommendation to the Clinical Staff Executive Committee. This executive committee also approved the proposal and sent it to the entire clinical staff for a vote. Finally, the last step was the UVA Health Board’s approval validating the CNS position as a credentialed provider.

Elgin credits her relatively smooth approval process to never underestimating the importance of engaging stakeholders both in formal and informal settings and really taking time to listen to them and hear their concerns.

About the author

Kimberley Elgin, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, CMSRN is a Director at Large for NACNS, the only national organization representing the 89,000 CNSs in the US. CNSs are the most versatile advanced practice registered nurses and work in a variety of health care specialties to ensure the 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.

RISE Up By Giving A Hand Up

Succession Planning To Advance The CNS Profession

Jan Powers, in her recent National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists President’s Letter titled “We Rise By Lifting Others,” stated:

“As CNSs, we must look to the future and work to improve the pipeline of qualified CNSs to fill positions of vital need. We must have an intentional focus on succession planning and simultaneously encourage younger nurses to explore and step up to the role of CNS.”

Five generations of nurses are now working together with the oldest generation reaching retirement. As a matter of fact, 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.

Succession planning is defined as the systematic process of recognizing and creating future leaders who ready and able to accept the roles and responsibilities of those leaving the workforce via retirement, resignation, or promotion. Succession planning is a future-oriented process.

In short, it’s about giving younger nurses a “hand up” by introducing them to the role of the CNS and encouraging them to pursue the career. It is primarily through this effort that we advance the CNS role and ensure it thrives well into the future.

The Big Question

Ask yourself this question:

Who will replace you when you retire or leave the organization?

To truly RISE UP as a profession we must lead others forward. This is where succession planning is so critical because our current CNS positions must pave the way for the next CNS to take our place. Below are some tips and ideas to think about as you begin a succession plan.

CNS Succession Planning Tips

1. Establish accountability

  • Agree who has the responsibility to make the succession decision. Establishing clear responsibility of organizational succession early on is key to avoiding confusion later and is important to ensure a CNS has input into the process.

2. Focus on learning, not just performance

  • Provide potential successors opportunities to experience the future role and be educated on responsibilities before the succession itself is decided and implemented. This is where mentoring is important.

3. Turn succession short-term by breaking down tasks

  • Succession planning is a journey with many steps. People tend to think better in the short-term so breaking down the succession process into smaller projects rather than trying to make a switch all at once has a better chance of success.

4. Build transparency with the scientific method

  • Be upfront about succession planning and use CNS data skills to measure a potential successor’s performance and leadership ability. Establish standards to measure the success of a transition and share this information. This not only makes the succession process cleaner, but it builds trust among coworkers and the organization generally.

Is 90,000 Enough?

There are about 89,000 CNSs in North America and it is not nearly enough. The pandemic is swallowing resources while the online job boards scream for more CNSs. Our goal should be to retain and add more CNS to the workforce every year. We can do this with mentoring, succession planning, advising younger nurses, speaking at nursing programs among may other things. In sum, by giving a hand up to younger nurses to become CNSs we ensure the continuity of our profession and truly “RISE By Lifting Others.”


Lt Colonel David Bradley Armed Forces Affiliate Interview with NACNS

Lt. Colonel David Bradley Interview – Q&A

Q. What prompted the reinvigoration of the military affiliate within NACNS?

A few colleagues and I have been attending the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialist (NACNS) Annual Conference for years and always found it exciting and informative. We decided there was a real
need for a military affiliate, and — in true military fashion — we just went ahead and completed all the paperwork and executed the mission. We plan to launch NACNS’s military affiliate in October with representation across three branches of the military — Navy, Air Force and Army. We’ve had a lot of interest already.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish with the creation of the Armed Services affiliate?

People are just unaware of the Clinical Nurse Specialist’s (CNS) role. They ask: “What are your skill sets and how can we better utilize you?” There is a great need for education and awareness around the CNS in the military. We want to make sure that the role of the CNS is understood and valued. The best ambassadors for this effort are the CNSs themselves, so we want to put our heads together and have an organization to build awareness and appreciation of our role.

Being an affiliate linked to a national organization can support and help with visibility and grow awareness. Our second goal is to share and collaborate on evidence-based practice and research. NACNS gives us the best forum for accomplishing these goals.

Q. Can you tell us more about the benefits of a NACNS military affiliate?

The primary benefit of the NACNS military affiliate is that it establishes a platform to better market the role of the CNS. An active affiliate will highlight the great things CNSs are doing across the nation as well as showing how CNSs are making an impact in military healthcare. We also plan to use the military affiliate to network and establish a robust mentoring program for newer CNSs. That’s an area of opportunity for the military affiliate, providing experienced mentors for recently graduated CNSs.

Q. Do you have anything else you would like to share about the role of the CNS?

I’m always looking for better ways to describe the role of a CNS. When the message gets through, people really do understand the unique value we bring to the table. I’ve found that analogies go a long way in this regard; they’re a simple way to explain what otherwise can sound like a complicated role. Here’s one of the best analogies about CNSs that I’ve heard:

A CNS is like a pitching coach in baseball. Now, can you play baseball without a pitching coach? Absolutely. So, why do they have pitching coaches and pay them so much money?

Teams invest in pitching coaches because pitching is the most important position on the field. For a team to be great, it has to have great pitching. So, even small improvements to a pitcher’s mechanics, to his pitch selection, or to something as simple as how he grips the ball can have significant impact on the team. The pitching coach can look at the spin of the ball, the velocity, or the way the ball leaves a pitcher’s hand and be able to offer insight that no one else on the field can see. The pitching coach will see things others miss. “You’re dropping your shoulder,” he’ll tell the pitcher who can’t find the strike zone. This advice and corrective action can and regularly does change the outcome for a pitcher and for the game.

A CNS plays a similar role to the pitching coach, providing expertise and guidance at key moments, relying on their deep expertise, to improve the quality of care and outcomes in hospitals and health systems across the country.


Clinical Nurse Specialists RISE and Celebrate Their Role in Week-long Event

CNS Week Starts Tomorrow; “Rise of the CNS” Theme

RESTON, VA – August 31, 2021 – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) launched the 12th Annual Clinical Nurse Specialist Recognition Week (CNS Week) to celebrate the vital role of CNSs, increase awareness and attract a new generation of nurses to the specialty.

The theme of this year’s CNS Week is “Rise of the CNS.” “Rise of the CNS” represents the growing impact CNSs are making on the healthcare system and in patient outcomes. A schedule of events, beginning tomorrow, September 1 and concluding on September 7, along with a free “Celebration Tool Kit,” can be found  here.

“CNS are one of the four advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) and about 89,000 strong in the United States,” said Jan Powers, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN, NE-BC, FCCM, president, NACNS. “The goal of CNS Week — empowering CNSs to rise to the occasion—is to build awareness and appreciation of the role they play within healthcare, within their communities, and among the next generation of CNSs who are looking for rewarding careers and making a genuine contribution to better patient outcomes.”

CNS week is an annual event that acknowledges the contributions of the nearly 90,000 CNSs in the United States. CNSs are an elite and unique group that are the only APRNs qualified to integrate care across the three spheres of influence in healthcare:  patient, nurse and system.  NACNS is the only national organization representing CNSs and is dedicated to advancing the practice and education of CNSs. Watch the #CNSPride Video and hear from CNSs across the country on why they are proud to be a CNS.

CNS Week 2021 Highlights

  • Register to attend the free “Rise of the CNS” Webinar with NACNS President Jan Powers to kickoff CNS Week 2021.
  • Get the Celebration Tool Kit with all kinds of cool social media assets like Facebook Frames, Buzzkits and other resources to show your #CNSPride.
  • Wish the founder of the CNS profession – Dr. Hildegard Peplau — Happy Birthday here.
  • Learn more about Dr. Peplau from this blog.
  • Show your excitement and appreciation for CNSs! Order your merchandise from the NACNS store today.

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 health care specialties to ensure the 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.


A Few Minutes With the 2021 CNS of the Year — Brittany Rhoades

Brittany RhoadesThis year’s CNS of the Year hails from the Lone Star State and is a clinical nurse specialist providing direct care to heart transplant and left ventricular assist device (LVAD) patients at Baylor St Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, TX. We caught up with Brittany Rhoades, Ph.D., APRN, CCNS, and she shared her thoughts on being a CNS, the CNS role, and the tip that Houston weather is excellent for gardening.

What role do you play at St. Luke’s Medical Center?

I started as a CNS for the transplant and LVAD program in an educational role for nursing and multidisciplinary staff. After a couple years, I transitioned to direct patient care practice. As a CNS, I can go from education roles to direct practice to quality or regulatory roles. The CNS role is very fluid, flexible, and necessary.

How did you become a CNS?

I started my nursing career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Many of the leaders in various areas of cardiology were CNSs. UAB also had a clinical nurse specialist program. That’s how I was introduced to the CNS role. It has provided me a way to become an advanced practice nurse while creating change at an organizational level.

What’s the biggest challenge facing CNSs?

Visibility and a clear understanding of the role is probably the biggest challenge. I’ve encountered individuals familiar with the CNS role who love CNSs and really know how to utilize them. But we need to educate more of our colleagues about the unique role of the CNS and how healthcare can benefit from CNSs’ expertise.

What’s the unique skill set that a CNS brings to an organization?

As an example, I’m an APRN and a Ph.D. researcher. I’m very passionate about qualitative research and learning how patients perceive things. I like to connect the two of those together. Clinicians have a particular perspective of illness and healthcare, and patients have their own unique perspectives. As a CNS, I want to bridge those perspectives to improve the healthcare experience for both patients and clinicians.

Why did you join NACNS?

I wanted to become a CNS because I wanted a broader scope than direct patient care and loved the CNS role. I quickly got involved with the Texas NACNS group as soon as I moved here. They are very encouraging, supportive and stress the importance of national membership.

It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people in the profession.

What do you do for fun?

I am a wife and mother to two beautiful girls. We enjoy gardening — Houston has terrific weather most of the year for being outside and gardening. We also appreciate the arts, museums, and theatre. We are always looking for a new place to explore.


Texas Nurse Named Clinical Nurse Specialist Of The Year

Brittany Rhoades Honored By National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

RESTON, VA – April 13, 2021 –The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) announced today that Brittany Rhoades, Ph.D., APRN, CCNS at CHI St. Luke’s Health Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Houston, TX was named the 2021 Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year. Rhoades was recognized for her professional achievements and contributions to advancing the clinical nurse specialists (CNS) profession in the United States.

NACNS is the national organization for the 89,000 CNSs in the United States and is dedicated to advancing the practice and education of CNSs. Rhoades was nominated and selected to receive CNS of the Year honors by her advanced practice registered nursing peers.

More NACNS Award Program information can be found:

Rhoades has over 15 years of nursing experience and is currently a clinical nurse specialist providing direct care to heart transplant and left ventricular assist device patients in the Cardiothoracic Transplant Program at Baylor St Luke’s Medical Center. She started her career as a registered nurse at the University of Alabama at Birmingham before enrolling in the clinical nurse specialist program to become an advanced practice registered nurse.

Rhoades is actively involved in the profession having served on the board of the International Transplant Nurses Society and currently serving on the International Consortium of Circulatory Assist Clinicians. She has also served the community by providing hands-on left ventricular assist device education to the Houston Fire Department captains and supervisors.

Rhoades has a Ph.D. in Nursing from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and a Master of Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist. She has Bachelor of Science degrees from Union University (Nursing) and Ouachita Baptist University (Biology).

About The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) is the only association representing the clinical nurse specialist (CNS). CNSs are advanced practice registered nurses who work in various specialties to ensure high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. As leaders in health care settings, CNSs provide direct patient care and lead initiatives to improve care and clinical outcomes as well as reduce costs. NACNS is dedicated to advancing CNS practice and education, removing certification and regulatory barriers, and assuring the public access to quality CNS services. For more information or to join NACNS, click here


National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists 2021 Award Winners Announced

National Awards Recognize Clinical Nurse Specialists for Outstanding Professional Achievement and Contributions to the Profession

RESTON, VA – May 10, 2021 – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) unveiled its 2021 award winners at its Annual Conference recently.  The nine award winners were honored for their professional achievement and contributions to advancing the clinical nurse specialists (CNS) profession in the United States.  NACNS is the national organization for the 89,000 CNSs in the United States and is dedicated to advancing the practice and education of CNSs.  Award winners were nominated and selected to receive the honors by their advanced practice registered nursing peers.  More NACNS Award Program information can be found: https://nacns.org/about-us/awards/

“The professional success of these seven honorees embodies the spirit of the 2021 NACNS theme – ‘RISE’. ‘RISE’ signifies the ongoing growth and advancement of the CNS profession and its influence,” said Jan Powers, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN, NE-BC, FCCM, president, NACNS. “They were recognized for significant achievements and contributions in research, improving practice and educational opportunities as well as for raising the profile of the CNS in the profession.”

2021 NACNS National Award Winners

  • Affiliate of the Year: Central Indiana Organization of Clinical Nurse Specialists, IN
  • CNS of the Year: Brittany Rhoades, PhD, APRN, CCNS, CCTN, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Houston, TX
  • CNS Evidence-Based Practice/Quality Improvement: Geline Buenconsejo, RN MSN CNS PCCN, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, San Diego, CA
  • Mentor of the Year: Kimberly Pate, DNP, RN, ACCNS-AG, PCCN-K, Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC
  • Preceptor of the Year: Amy Patterson, MSN, APRN, AOCNS, BMTCN, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL
  • Researcher of the Year: Susan Storey, PhD, RN, AOCNS, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
  • Pamela Jane Nye Scholarship: F. Kay Butler, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, CCRN, ACM-RM, RN the Know, LLC, Newport News, VA
  • Susan B. Davidson Service Award: Anne Hysong, MSN, APRN, CCNS, FCNS, Northside Hospital Duluth, Duluth, GA
  • Brenda Lyon Leadership Award: Vincent W. Holly, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, Indiana University Health Bloomington, Bloomington, IN 

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.