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Name:
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Description:
The CNS role involves advanced expertise in a specific knowledge and practice area of nursing. The clinical specialist is expected to observe, conceptualize, diagnose, and analyze complex clinical or nonclinical problems related to health; and to consider a range of theory relevant to understanding those problems and determining possible treatment options. Responsibilities include clinical practice, education, research, and consultation
Settings:
Widely varied inpatient areas, including medical-surgical, pediatric, perinatal, geriatric, psychiatric, rehabilitation, critical-care, and emergency/trauma, as well as outpatient areas such as home health, community, public health, occupational health, and schools
Characteristics:
Provides direct patient care; teaches patients and families self-care; administers medications, IV therapy, and treatments; performs assessments; plans, implements, evaluates, and documents care; serves as preceptor, team leader, and charge nurse supervising RNs, LPNs, NAs, NTs; advocates for the patient and family with other members of the healthcare team
Drawbacks:
Staffing issues, excessive paperwork, conflicts (e.g., with patients, families, other healthcare providers), stress
Desirable skills:
Technical, human, and conceptual skills: critical thinking and creative problem solving, therapeutic communication and teaching skills, technical skill and proficiency, teambuilding, supervision and delegation, responsibility and accountability, flexibility, knowledge of resources, commitment to high standards and quality care
Education:
RN with MS
Employers:
Hospitals, extended-care and ambulatory centers, community-based providers
Certification:
American Nurses Credentialing Center
600 Maryland Ave. SW, #100 West
Washington, DC 20024-2571
800-284-CERT
Publications:
Clinical Nurse Specialist Journal
410-528-4000