Each year, the first week of September is recognized as Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Week, and what better time to recognize the CNS’s unique contributions to healthcare.
As one of the four advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) roles — the others are certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwife and certified nurse practitioner — the CNS leads and collaborates with other members of the interprofessional team to enhance care delivery and improve outcomes for patients and families. A recent article in Critical Care Medicine describes how CNSs contribute to the interprofessional team:
- Provide clinical expertise and education
- Coordinate the development and implementation of a plan of care
- Implement evidence-based practices
- Lead quality initiatives
- Conduct research
- Promote effective communication
To better understand and appreciate this vital APRN role — especially if you are considering a CNS career path — let’s take a look at CNS role requirements, scope of practice, core competencies and overall impact.