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Authors

  1. Mayo, Ann M. DNSc, RN, CNS, FAAN
  2. Ray, Melinda Mercer MSN, RN
  3. Chamblee, Tracy B. PhD, APRN, PCNS-BC
  4. Urden, Linda D. DNSc, RN, CNS, NE-BC, FAAN
  5. Moody, Rachel MS, CNS, RN, CENP

Abstract

The clinical nurse specialist (CNS), one of the 4 advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) categories, has a unique role to play in contributing to high-quality patient care and system-level change across multiple health care settings. CNS practice requires advanced knowledge and skills, including specialty expertise, the ability to integrate new knowledge and innovation into the system of care, the ability to consult and collaborate with all health professions, and the mentoring of nursing staff to support and fully implement that new knowledge. The purpose of this article was to describe the role of the CNS, explain the background of the CNS role as it relates to APRN practice, provide current CNS workforce statistics, and share opportunities for hospitals and health systems to strategically use CNSs to advance patient and organizational goals.