1. Zuzelo, Patti Rager EdD, RN, ANP-BC, ACNS-BC, CRNP

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President's Message

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.


-Theodore Roosevelt1


Teddy Roosevelt spoke about the "doctrine of the strenuous life." The crux of his idea was that the highest form of success comes to the individual who does not shrink from hard work or bitter toil. It is my belief that this strenuous life doctrine is applicable to organizations and certainly applicable to the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS). Considering the relative youthfulness of this organization, it has accomplished much because of the vision, hard work, and, at times, sheer grit of its founders, leaders, and members. Each of us has a responsibility to be a good steward of this organization, a product of the contributions of many strenuous professional lives. As I share my message, I am counting on you to consider contributing to the larger toil of clinical nurse specialist (CNS) life by reaching out, e-mailing ideas, volunteering for committees, or contributing to the upcoming conference.


An ad hoc committee of the board of directors is hard at work reviewing the organization's bylaws. This sort of work is often tedious and typically underappreciated; certainly, it is "strenuous," and yet, the by-laws provide the context within which this organization works and delineate the rules and procedures that inform critical decisions and processes. At some point within the next few months, members will have the opportunity to consider possible bylaw revisions before the annual meeting scheduled during the NACNS 2011 conference. The organization will need your input as expressed by your voice and vote.


We will soon begin efforts to establish a slate of candidates for the 2011 election. This effort requires a multifaceted approach as the Nominating Committee works to identify leaders with both academic and practice backgrounds that are geographically diverse. There may be opportunities to serve or to suggest others who may be interested in elected office or committee membership. Volunteering to possibly serve requires a certain resolve, and you may have questions about these sorts of opportunities. Succession planning is important to the health of this organization, and I can personally assure you that while the work can be taxing, it is also rewarding and satisfying. Please consider beginning a leadership trajectory with the NACNS.


The NACNS Member Survey is currently underway, and to date, approximately 400 members have responded. The board is hoping to use these data to inform program planning and tailoring of member benefits. Thanks to the many respondents!


I am looking forward to traveling to Pewaukee, Wisconsin, to speak at the Wisconsin Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists second annual CNS conference. The conference theme is "CNS Influence on Outcomes: Patient, Nursing, & Community." Members may recall that the Wisconsin affiliate was recognized as the 2010 Affiliate of the Year. I am privileged to have the opportunity to meet these members and am really looking forward to the opportunity to visit Wisconsin! I expect that it will be beautiful in the fall and will make certain to share my experience with you in a future "President's Message." I encourage you to work with your affiliates, and if there is not an affiliate in your area, consider initiating a group. I have worked with my Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware CNS colleagues over the years to establish a networking group, and it really is a satisfying activity! Meeting other CNSs is simply a phenomenal opportunity, and as we move through our strenuous, satisfying, CNS lives, networking with other like-minded colleagues is such a wonderful perk!


Please contact me with any ideas, suggestions, or concerns. The CNS world is a challenging arena for advanced practice, and the NACNS Board and staff are interested in your ideas and comments! Practice with resolve, optimism, and expertise and do keep in touch.



1. Safire W. Lend Me Your Ears. Great Speeches in History. New York, NY: WW Norton & Company; 2004:537-542.


News From Our Affiliates

Wisconsin Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists Affiliate

The Wisconsin Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (WIACNS) has enjoyed a busy and productive finish to 2009 and start to 2010. The affiliate hosted its first annual state conference in November 2009. The conference was attended by more than 90 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) throughout the state. Speakers shared their expertise on the topics of preparing your elevator speech, CNS role development, evidence-based practice implementation, and a research study on CNS practice in acute care. The second annual WIACNS conference will be held on Friday, October 15, 2010. We are honored to have National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) president, Patti Zuzelo, speak at our conference in 2010. We have extended an invitation to CNSs in neighboring states to attend the second annual conference through networking with other NACNS affiliates.


Members of the WIACNS were excited and honored to be awarded the NACNS Affiliate of the Year in 2010 at the annual NACNS conference. The award represents the dedication of WIACNS members to the affiliate, CNS role, and profession of nursing. Many members contribute ideas and discussion at meetings, provide education to colleagues, and plan and participate in our annual conference.


The WIACNS has maintained a membership position in the Wisconsin Nurses Coalition, which consists of various nursing groups and organizations from around the state. The WIACNS is collaborating with the Wisconsin Nurses Coalition on important advanced practice nursing issues and future advanced practice nursing legislation.


The WIACNS holds general membership meetings on the odd months, and steering committee meetings are held on the even months. Conference calling is available at all general and steering meetings for those unable to travel to the meeting site. Membership to the WIACNS is free. Each general meeting contains an educational offering for members. Educational topics for 2010 have included recap of the 2010 NACNS conference, mobilizing your leadership skills, and pain management.


Current WIACNS officers include Stephanie Kraus, president (University of Wisconsin Health); Julie Darmody, president-elect (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee); Sue Fuhrman, past-president (ProHealth Care); Brenda Larkin, treasurer (Aurora Healthcare); and Michel Hardwick, secretary (Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare). Nominations are open for the officer positions of president-elect and secretary for 2011. To find out more about the WIACNS, including our annual conference, visit our Web site (


Submitted by Stephanie Kraus, MS, RN, CCRN, WIACNS president

Wiacns 2010 - Click to enlarge in new windowWIACNS 2010 Affiliate of the Year. Pictured (left to right): Tim Heyse, Laura Ziebarth, Mary Luettgen, Julie Darmody, Stephanie Kraus, Ann Kratz, Suzanne Purvis, Natalie McAndrew, Julie Millenbruch.

Military Virtual Affiliate

The Military Virtual Affiliate members have been very busy. MAJ Frankie Bailey, MSN, ACNS-BC, provided a podium presentation on "Heparin Administration: A Standardized Approach" at the 16th Biennial Phyllis J. Verhonick Research Conference in April 2010. Cynthia Goldberg from Walter Reed Army Medical Center will be a speaker at the VA Nursing Polytrauma Conference in DC, speaking on "Pain Management in Polytrauma Patients" in the fall.


MAJ Jerremie Siegfried received an award from the Pacific Institute of Nursing Research Conference as the Nurse Clinician of the Year.


MAJ Kimberlie A. Biever recently returned in November 2009 from deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq as the trauma program manager for the CENTCOM (central command) Joint Theater Trauma System. Major Biever received a Defense Meritorious Service Medal for her work during the deployment and developing a program to track medical outcomes for urgent MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) patients in the theater. She will be speaking at one of the Sunrise Sessions at National Teaching Institute this month on clinical trauma care about her experiences during deployment. She has also been selected for the Rand Fellowship.


Congratulations to LCDR Tracy Isacc, MSN, CNS-BC, for passing the American Nurses Credentialing Center Core Certification Examination. LT Jimmy Ryals successfully completed the Eastern Kansas VA Wound Management Academy Wound Program.


Submitted by LCDR Tina M. Cox, MSN, MSM, CNS, RNC, perinatal clinical nurse specialist


Montana Affiliate News

Several members of the Montana Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (MACNS) have been recognized for superior achievement. Dorothy "Dale" Mayer and Linda Torma recently completed their doctoral studies at Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Nursing. Dale is a cardiac clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and focuses her research on end-of-life issues. Linda is a gerontological CNS, and her research addresses pain and physical function in older adults. Both are faculty members at Montana State University College of Nursing. Sandra W. Kuntz was tenured and promoted to associate professor, and Carolyn Mack was 1 of 40 faculty members to receive the 2010 Excellence Award for teaching at Montana State University.


Members were also busy presenting and attending conferences. In March, the MACNS teamed with the Zeta Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International to cosponsor the annual "evening of research." Two MACNS members were among the presenters. Sandy Kuntz presented on her experiences in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars Program and Dale Mayer presented her research on family bereavement experiences after sudden cardiac arrest. Members Dale Mayer, Sandy Kuntz, and Charlene "Charlie" Winters also presented their research at the Western Institute of Nursing Annual Research Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Janet Derrington, a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, attended a 1-day workshop this spring on anger management and forgiveness.


National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists member Linda Torma and 2 clinical practice partners have been accepted into the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice Microsystem Academy. This unique program was developed with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing specifically for nursing faculty and their clinical partners who want to learn and practice quality, safety, and microsystem development. Upon completion of the 6-month program, Linda will be able to integrate the content into the graduate courses she teaches and her clinical partners will be prepared to use clinical microsystem analysis in improvement processes in their practice.


Members of the Montana affiliate are excited about integrating research, education, and practice and continue to conduct of research, give presentations, publish their work, and dialogue with other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to advance CNS practice within the state. We welcome the opportunity to partner with nurses and colleagues from other disciplines to achieve this goal.


Submitted by Charlene A. Winters, PhD, ACNS-BC


Member News

We are pleased to announce that PatEbright will be assuming the position of interim associate dean for graduate programs for Indiana University School of Nursing starting on August 1, 2010.


Sue Sendelbach (National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists past-president) has been elected as the organizational affiliate liaison to the American Nurses Association Board of Directors. This is a wonderful honor for National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists and a lovely endorsement of Sue Sendelbach and her commitment to nursing.


Congratulations to Margaret Talley, PhD, RN, CWCN-AP, from the California affiliate who completed her dissertation entitled "Pressure Ulcer Risk Factors for Patients With Hospital Versus Community Acquired Pressure Ulcers." She received her PhD in nursing from the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing in May 2010.


Margaret is also the recipient of the 2010 California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialist Research grant.


NACNS Conference Updates

The 2011 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) conference will be held at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel on March 10 to 12. The hotel is located on Baltimore's Inner Harbor, which is one of America's oldest seaports. The hotel has easy access to a variety of amusements:


* Shopping (eg, The Gallery, Harborplace) to pick up that Charm City memento;


* Restaurants (eg, Flemings Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood, or >25 restaurants in nearby Little Italy);


* The Baltimore National Aquarium (with >16,000 sharks, dolphins, and other tropic fish in naturalistic settings);


* The Baltimore Orioles' Park at Camden Yards; or


* Take one of the many cruises or water taxis to view the sights.



The Conference Planning Committee has been working diligently to develop an exciting meeting schedule for conference attendees. The opening keynote speaker will be world-renowned Patricia Benner, who directs The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's Study of Nursing Education and is professor emerita at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. She is the author of the seminal Novice to Expert. Her most recent work, Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation, published in 2009 with coauthors Molly Sutphen, Victoria Leonard, and Lisa Day, challenges traditional approaches to nursing education. In addition, Linda Urden and Susan Rinert will present key addresses on Friday, and Denise Bryant-Lukosius will provide the conference closing address.


Two preconference and 1 postconference sessions are planned:


1. The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) will present a 4-hour workshop on best practices resources. The JBI specializes in promoting and supporting evidenced-based health care by providing access to a wide array of resources for health care, nursing, medicine, and others. The JBI is an NACNS member resource.


2. The second preconference, developed by the NACNS Research Committee, focuses on "Writing for Publication." This preconference presents theoretical and practical information from editors, manuscript reviewers, and authors. The preconference will include time for hands-on work with attendees' manuscript drafts.


3. In response to member feedback, the NACNS is sponsoring a 4-hour pharmacology postconference. This postconference will include speakers from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland.



Other exciting events are still in the works. The conference planners are reviewing Baltimore policies for setting up a FUN RUN to raise money for the foundation. Never fear, if this comes to fruition, walkers will be welcome.


We are anticipating having approximately 80 to 90 podium presentations, more than 80 posters, a plenary panel discussing the adult/gerontology competencies, a wine-and-cheese reception, meet-the-board round-table sessions, the awards luncheon, and of course, the never-dull business meeting. We hope to see you there.



The bylaws are being reviewed and revisions are recommended. The revisions will include (a) minor or editorial revisions, (b) changes to ensure consistency between sections of the bylaws, and (c) more substantive changes to reflect current needs or trends. Once approved by the board of directors, the revisions will be disseminated to the membership for consideration and vote.


The work to validate the Clinical Nurse Specialist Educational Standards is moving forward. Terry Valiga of the Duke University Institute for Educational Excellence is serving as the neutral convener for the review of Clinical Nurse Specialist Educational Standards. Meetings with key stakeholders are taking place.


Call for News Item

Many affiliates plan meetings at the end of the year; if so, you may want to include an item in the newsletter. If you have information you want to share about yourself, your National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists peers, or your affiliate/affiliate peers, please send the news item to News items for the 2010 November/December issue are due by September 3, 2010.