The expertise of clinical nurse specialists adds value to healthcare organizations, and these advanced practice nurses have become critical contributors in improving healthcare delivery, according to a series of articles in a recent issue of AACN Advanced Critical Care, an official publication of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
In its January-March 2015 issue, the peer-reviewed journal features a symposium collection of four articles with specific examples of how clinical nurse specialists contribute to the delivery of optimal care to patients and the fiscal operations of healthcare institutions, according to a news release.
Clinical nurse specialists are licensed registered nurses with graduate nursing degrees at the master’s or doctoral level in a specialty. With about 72,000 practicing nationwide, clinical nurse specialists represent the second largest number of advanced practice nurses in the U.S.
Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and publication of the Institute of Medicine’s “The Future of Nursing”, clinical nurse specialists and other advanced practice nurses have achieved greater recognition for their contributions to addressing modern day healthcare challenges, according to the release.
Journal editor Mary Fran Tracy, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN, compiled the series of articles for the issue. Clinical nurse specialists often lead initiatives to improve patient outcomes, but they also evaluate clinical interventions and processes to ensure best practice standards and patient safety.
Their efforts can contribute to decreased lengths of stay, optimized patient safety, improved patient outcomes and cost avoidance. They also mentor staff nurses in evidence-based practice and professional presentation opportunities, according to the release.
“Clinical nurse specialists are uniquely prepared to improve the care of patient populations — whether in acute and critical care settings, the ambulatory/clinic setting or in the transition of patients between settings,” Tracy said in the release. “This series helps demonstrate their valuable contributions to healthcare leaders, staff and patients.”