1. Patten, Stephen MSN, RN, CNS, CNOR

Article Content

As we approach Nurses Week, which culminates with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, I wonder what Florence was really doing to improve nursing back then. I can only imagine the changes that were taking place in nursing during the days of the Crimean War. Evidence-based practice was in its infancy. The competencies for nursing education were being developed for the first time. The nursing profession was divided as to what were the criteria for entry into practice. Nursing roles were expanding. Patient outcomes were improving because of nursing interventions. The period at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century was the genesis for what we now know as nursing. Wow, I guess I can imagine. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


I believe that nursing is once again at a genesis of what nursing is to become in the 21st century. Health care in the United States is at a turning point. Two major events have spotlighted the importance of maximizing nurses' contributions to quality, patient-centered care. The first was the Affordable Care Act (March 2010), and the second was the Institute of Medicine (IOM) release of The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report in October 2010.1


The Affordable Care Act calls for nurses to have a larger role in the delivery of health care. The act provides for investments in improving the quality of care, the nursing workforce, and nursing education. It emphasizes new models of care that feature nurses in prominent roles. New grants have been established to increase home health visits by nurses to expectant mothers in high-risk communities. New grants have also been established to fund community-based nurse-managed health centers.


The IOM report The Future of Nursing is an initiative, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A committee of nationally renowned experts from nursing medicine and other disciplines reviewed the body of scientific evidence during a 2-year study and concluded that nurses must take a greater leadership role in the delivery and development of care. The ultimate goal of the initiative on The Future of Nursing is to improve how health care is delivered to better meet the needs of all patients. The report had many recommendations, and the following four stand out as areas that need special attention by clinical nurse specialists:


1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education, training, and licensure, which requires the removal of scope of practice barriers.


2. Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.


3. Effective health care workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure, particularly as it relates to nursing contribution to care.


4. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression, including nurse residency programs and lifelong learning.



I would encourage everyone to read the entire IOM report; it is long but worth the effort. Change in how health care is provided will happen, but today, nurses are in a position unlike any time in history (including Florence Nightingale's time) to influence what the change will be. Get involved locally, in your state professional organizations and legislatures, and at the national level. Do not let policy happen to you; get involved and direct policy to enhance your ability to practice at the top of your license, become full partners with other health professionals, create data collection infrastructure, and have seamless lifelong learning. The time for health care reform is now, and it is up to us to shape the future of nursing.



1. Institute of Medicine. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Accessed February 22, 2011.



We want to welcome our new elected officials for the Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee.


Rachel Moody, MS, CNS, RN, is a critical care clinical nurse specialist (CNS) at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana. She has been a member of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) since 1999 and filled the term of vice president for 2010. Rachel has served as the board liaison to the Legislative/Regulatory Committee and was cochair of the 2011 NACNS conference planning committee. Rachel begins her term as president-elect in 2011, and she will become president in 2012 at the national conference of the NACNS, and in 2013, she will finish her tenure in the past-president position.


Leslie Rodriguez, MSN, MPH, RN, ACNS-BC, CPAN, is a CNS in the Critical Care Services and Research Department at Texas Health Arlington Memorial in Arlington, Texas. Les just completed his term as a director on the board of the NACNS and served as the board liaison to the Education Committee and served on the 2011 NACNS conference planning committee. He coordinated the pharmacology postconference session in collaboration with the Baltimore Chapter. Les will serve as vice president from 2011 to 2013.


Margueritte "Peggy" Barksdale, MSN, RN, OCNS-C, CNS-BC, is a CNS in orthopedics at the Community Health Network in Indianapolis, Indiana. Peggy has been a member of the NACNS since 2001. She served as chair of the Practice Committee for 2 terms and as a content expert panelist for the CNS Core Examination. Peggy will use her experiences to help the NACNS handle future challenges that face CNSs. Peggy's term as a director is from 2011 to 2013.


Ginger S. Pierson, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNS, is a CNS at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California. Ginger has been a member of the NACNS since 1999. She served on the membership committee for 9 years. She is also a member of the California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists-and has filled a number of leadership positions in this organization and currently is the Southern California director for the California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists. Ginger's term as a director is from 2011 to 2013.


Kristi Kimpel and Anne Russell were elected to serve on the Nominating Committee. Kristi D. Kimpel, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, is a CNS in the Surgical Trauma Burn Intensive Care Unit at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Virginia. She developed the CNS role in the Surgical Trauma Burn Intensive Care Unit in 2007. Anne C. Russell, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, is an assistant professor at Wright State University-Miami Valley, College of Nursing and Health, in Dayton, Ohio. She has worked as an adult critical care CNS at the Veterans Affairs and currently teaches in the adult CNS track.



We are pleased to announce the 2011 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) award winners:


The Central Indiana Organization of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CIOCNS) was named the 2011 Affiliate of the Year. A description of their work is provided under the affiliate news below.


Lisa Gorski, CNS at the Wheaton Franciscan Home Health and Hospice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was named the 2011 Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year by the NACNS. Ms Gorski is nationally recognized for her clinical expertise in home care and nursing leadership in the specialty fields of infusion nursing and chronic illness and was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing. She is also widely published on the topic of home infusion therapy, including 3 books, articles, a reference guide, and online teaching modules.


Sharron Coffie, CNS at Froedtert Hospital, was named the 2011 Preceptor of the Year by the NACNS. Ms Coffie focuses on heart failure and teaching patients about self-care. She emphasizes that "clear communication about symptoms, weight monitoring, sodium and dietary restrictions, medication adherence, provider follow-up and family involvement is key[horizontal ellipsis]. Nurses need to be very clear in explaining the difference between a heart attack and heart failure so patients have an accurate perspective."


June Como, CNS and lecturer of nursing at the College of Staten Island, was named the 2011 Educator of the Year. Ms Como's accomplishments include her work during 9/11 to set up a nurses' health care and first aid center at the Staten Island Homeport. She also spent 3 months organizing health care coverage for personnel at Ground Zero. She is codirector of the High-Fidelity Simulation Center, where her students use mannequins to simulate real clinical circumstances. She has published in the International Journal of Human Caring and Holistic Nursing Practice. Her doctoral focus is on health literacy, medication adherence, and health outcomes in patients with heart failure.


Annette DeVito Dabbs is an associate professor and interim vice chair at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. She was named the 2011 NACNS Researcher of the Year. Her research focuses on health-related quality of life after lung transplantation, structured as active partnerships between patients and clinicians, and uses qualitative and mixed-methods analytic techniques. Her work was supported by a research award from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation in 2002.



We want to extend a heartfelt "thank you" to the 2010 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) committees for their outstanding service to the organization and the profession.


NACNS Affiliate Advisory Committee 2010

The Affiliate Advisory Committee provides information and guidance to affiliates and ensures communication between the affiliate(s) and the Board of Directors.


Kathleen Dunn, chair, Chiquita Denney, Debra Polster, Margaret Talley, Cynthia Japp.


NACNS Communications and Marketing Committee 2010

The Communications and Marketing Committee works to ensure that issues of relevance to the membership are published and marketed widely through a variety of means.


Anne Williams, chair, Beverly Raye Bell, Kimberly Bishop, Sandee Gandee, Cindy Wetzel, Patricia Tuite.


NACNS Education Committee 2010

The mission of the Education Committee is to provide guidance and consultation to graduate programs, faculty, students, and national accrediting and credentialing bodies regarding NACNS recommendations for preparation of clinical nurse specialists.


Debra Siela, chair, Dawn Doutrich, Stephanie Moore, Donna Callaghan, Demetrius Porche, Elaine Steinke, Kathleen White.


NACNS Membership Committee 2010

The Membership Committee works to develop and conduct activities that will ensure continued individual, institutional, and corporate member growth of the association.


Howard Thomas Blanchard, chair, Maureen McLaughlin, Denise O'Brien, Catherine Ryan, Christine Frazer, Beth McGraw, Kristin Reid, Dawn Seeley.


NACNS Nominating Committee 2010

The Nominating Committee's purpose is to identify qualified candidates, secure their consent to serve, and prepare the ballot. With the exception of the assigned board liaison, the members of the Nominating Committee are all elected by the membership of the NACNS.


Cynthia Balkstra, Elizabeth Good, Cecilia Gray, Yvonne Dobbenga Rhodes, Deborah Kesterson.


NACNS Practice Committee 2010

The Practice Committee's focus is to identify contemporary and evolving practice issues that affect clinical nurse specialists and develop related activities or resources such as practice advisories and position statements for use by clinical nurse specialists.


Margueritte Barksdale, chair, Jean Bandos, Wanda Borges, Garrett Chan, Terri Girt, Julia Senn-Reeves, Vincent Holly, Elissa Brown, Susan Jones, Kirk Koyama.


NACNS Research Committee 2010

The Research Committee conducts and directs research activities supporting the organization and clinical nurse specialist practice.


Mary Waldo, chair, Nancy Albert, Cheryl Canary, Jan Foster, Karen Rice, Ann Mayo, Janice Buelow, Priscilla O'Connor.



Central Indiana Affiliate

The Central Indiana Organization of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CIO-CNS) is the 2011 Affiliate of the Year. The CIO-CNS has been an active affiliate since July 1999. Quarterly meetings are attended by more than 50 members, including past National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) presidents, board members, committee members, and academia and clinical nurse specialists (CNSs). Members of the CIO-CNS are active in publishing and presenting to a wide variety of audiences.


The first annual CIO-CNS conference was held in Indianapolis on Friday, November 12, 2010. "Tools for Success: Advancing CNS Practice at all Levels" had more than 100 attendees from Indiana and surrounding states, including Texas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Renowned speakers addressed topics on research, consultation, legal issues, product evaluation, publication, patient safety, and the value CNSs bring to healthcare. The daylong workshop worked in collaboration with Indiana University School of Nursing and American Nurses Credentialing Center. This year, the conference is scheduled for November 11, 2011.


Peggy Barksdale has been elected to the Board of Directors for the NACNS. Peggy has served as chairman of the Practice Committee for the past 6 years and will act as board liaison to the Practice Committee. Terri Girt has accepted chairmanship for Practice Committee for 2 years.


Submitted by Vince Holly, MSN, BA, RN, CCRN, CCNS


California Affiliate

The California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CACNS) president and members would like to congratulate Ginger Pierson for her recent nomination and election to the Board of Directors for the NACNS. The CACNS is very proud of her accomplishment and we know she will do an exceptional job as a director.


Submitted by Liz Budek, CACNS President


Veterans Affairs Virtual Affiliate

Elissa Brown, mental health CNS at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, received her 35-year service pin from the VA. She recently was invited to serve as the only CNS on the advanced practice registered nurse panel to address advanced practice nursing students at the University of California Los Angeles.


Donna Fritz, oncology CNS at the Denver VA Medical Center, has received a 2-year appointment to the VA Office of Nursing Services Oncology Field Advisory Committee.


Kelly Goudreau, director/designated learning officer at the Portland, Oregon, VA Medical Center, will be graduating in March from the VA Executive Career Field Executive Development Program, making her eligible for executive-level positions within the VA.


Mary Lau, nutrition support/infusion therapy CNS at the Hines, Illinois, VA Medical Center, presented at The Fall Academy for the Infusion Nurses Society on "Parenteral Nutrition in the Malnourished: Dialysis, Cancer, Obese & Hyper Emesis Gravidarum Patient," in November 2010 in Washington, DC. Her paper on the same topic will be published in the Journal of Infusion Nursing later in 2011.


Cissi Wimberly Oloomi, SCI CNS/NP at the Houston, Texas, VA Medical Center, served as an editor and coauthor of 2 sections for the recently published AANN (American Association of Neuroscience Nurses) Core Curriculum for Neuroscience Nurses (5th edition, 2010). The editors are M.K. Bader and L.R. Littlejohn. Her sections are "Pain and Headaches" and "Ethical and Legal Considerations." She was also elected to the (nursing section) board of the American Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals for a 3-year term and appointed to the academy-level Clinical Practice Guideline committee for a 3-year assignment.


Valerie Wodzinski, hematology/oncology CNS at the Hines, Illinois, VA Medical Center, is the coauthor of a poster on "Implementation of Complementary and Alternative Methods of Pain Management: One VA Hospital's Experience," which will be presented at the Veterans Health Administration National Pain Management Conference in March 2011.


Linda Bay, CNS at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, VA Medical Center, served as content expert and presenter for Electrocardiography Interpretation Modules 1 to 4 for GE Healthcares TiPTV (Training in Partnership Television) and online learning programs. These modules were one of the first in the "nursing series" and are used for training nurses and nonnurses in electrocardiographic interpretation for telemetry. These are used nationally on their online sites.


Ann Busch, liver transplant CNS at the Portland, Oregon, VA Medical Center, received the International Transplant Nurses Society 2010 Best of Abstracts Award at the society's symposium and general assembly, October 28-30, 2010, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her abstract was "Psychosocial Issues Post Liver Transplant: What's the Evidence?"


Submitted by Kathleen L. Dunn, MS, RN, CRRN, CNS-BC



If you have information you want to share about yourself, your NACNS peers, or your affiliate/affiliate peers, please send the news item to News items for the 2011 September/October issue are due by June 27, 2011.