1. Moody, Rachel MS, RN, CNS

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One of my dreams as a little girl was to see the White House, not just on a postcard, but through the gate and down the hall. I am excited to tell you that as President of NACNS, I was recently able to achieve this dream and walk down the hallway to a meeting on behalf of NACNS. Various nursing leaders were invited to the White House to participate in Discussion on Improving Care Quality and Patient Health. This meeting was a joint effort of the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services officials with a goal to discuss delivery system transformation and how the Affordable Care Act can support their efforts to provide high-quality care to their patients. The meeting was designed in order to bring local nurse leaders from around the country to the White House to discuss challenges and opportunities they are facing in their clinics, hospitals, and communities. We were able to have an open dialogue that created an environment of shared learning from one another. Approximately 60 nursing leaders were in attendance at this June meeting. The meeting organizers wanted to hear from nursing leaders that "may have not yet been part of the conversation about delivery system transformation and the Affordable Care Act."


The discussion opened with a welcome address by Cecilia Munoz, who is the Director of White House Domestic Policy. A panel discussion was held in which each presenter shared his/her work and how it fits with the Affordable Care Act. The following were the panel participants: Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH; Margaret Flinter, PhD, APRN FNP-c, FAANP; Kristi Henderson, DNP, NP-BC, FAEN; and Mary D. Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN. The panel discussion was moderated by Carole Johnson, Senior Policy Advisor, White House Domestic Policy Council. The panel discussion included transitional care, primary care models (medical community, medical home), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services innovation projects.


As an attendee, we were given the opportunity after the panel spoke to comment and pose a question or concern. I was able to share all the different settings that the clinical nurse specialist works in (primary care, acute care /hospital, prevention/wellness, counseling, transitional care, etc) and that the hallmark of clinical nurse specialist practice is specialty practice, patient safety, quality, patient outcomes, and cost savings. I further commented on the concern that "not much has been off the ground" with State Health Insurance Exchange; therefore, benefits to nurses in helping their patients are yet to be seen. I noted that nursing wants a level playing field approach to network credentialing; we want nondiscriminatory language to be developed and required for plans participating in State Health Insurance Exchanges, and there are current barriers to practice to our full scope of education and training that vary state to state.


The meeting and its messages are important for all of us to know. One of the important messages I walked away with is that the clinical nurse specialist needs to continue to share how we bring value to the healthcare system, whether the value be meeting the needs of the public, implementing processes that improve outcomes, cost savings that we bring to organizations, and how we improve patient safety. We need to let others know the excellent work that is part of our practice and profession as a clinical nurse specialist. In order to bolster this concept, the NACNS Board of Directors has appointed 2 more task forces that will be looking at cost savings and outcomes of clinical nurse specialist practice and transitional care.


This journey as your President has taken many paths that I have been able to share the value a clinical nurse specialist brings. I encourage you to reflect on how you can assist in serving, whether it be on a task force, board member, conference participant, or presenting/publishing your work. Again, it is an honor and privilege to serve you, the members of NACNS and I am looking forward to seeing you all at our next Annual Conference, CNS: Leading Innovations for Health Care Change in San Antonio, Texas, March 7-9, 2013.



NACNS is pleased to welcome new affiliate group members Cynthia Swartz, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, and Kimberly Fowler, MSN, RN, CNS-BC, who will be representing the Susquehanna Valley of South Central Pennsylvania. The local clinical nurse specialist (CNS) group has been cultivating membership for this newly formed group for the past year. During their quarterly meetings, they have collaborated with York College to introduce their new DNP program, and they have been involved in supporting CNS colleagues in the state of Pennsylvania through the application process of title protection and licensure.


Submitted by: Cynthia Swartz, MS, RN, ACNS-BC



The Montana Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is a statewide organization of CNSs engaged in practice and nursing education. Members are committed to advancing the CNS role through education, scholarship, and service.


In March 2012, Montana affiliate member Dr D. "Dale" Mayer presented a paper at the 34th annual conference of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia. Dale's paper, "Nature-Based Family Bereavement Programs," was given with Tina Barrett, EdD, LCPC, from Tamarack Grief Resource Center in Missoula, Montana. Dale also had 2 poster presentations at the ADEC meeting: "Good Grief: Self-care Required!" and "Peers as Leaders: Blending Grief Support and Leadership."


Three members, Dr Jean Shreffler-Grant, Dr Sandra W. Kuntz, and Dr Dale Mayer, presented their work in Portland, Oregon, at the April 2012 Western Institute of Nursing Research Conference, "Advancing Scientific Innovations in Nursing." Jean and colleagues' poster, "The MSU CAM Health Literacy Scale," and Dale's poster, "Patient and Family Perceptions of Care: A Pilot Study," reported findings from their current research. Sandra and colleagues, including 2 graduate students, presented 2 papers and 1 poster related to their environmental health research: "Tribal/County Healthcare Provider Perceptions of Priority Pediatric Environmental Health Issues," "Measuring Tribal Perceptions of Partnership Success," and "Prenatal Interventions That Improve Native American Pregnancy Outcomes and Reduce Infant Mortality: An Integrative Review."


Rebecca Echeverri and Dr Charlene Winters had a publication in the June 2012 edition of Critical Care Nurse entitled, "Teaching Strategies to Support Evidence-Based Practice."


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



Kathleen L. Dunn, spinal cord injury CNS at the San Diego (California) VAMC, received the Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary's Award for Nursing Excellence (Expanded Role) from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in a ceremony in Washington, DC, on June 1, 2012.


Ann Busch, liver transplant CNS at the Portland (Oregon) VAMC, presented "Herbs and Supplements: Natural, Healthy, or Hepatotoxic?" at the National VA Patient Care Services "Enhancing Care to the Transplant Patient" Conference in Nashville, May 2012, and to the Oregon Health and Sciences University/Portland VA Combined Transplant Conference in Portland, Oregon, March 2012.

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Stephen Patten, perioperative CNS at the Portland (Oregon) VAMC, and Kelly Goudreau, director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive, VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics (VA SORCC), have an article in the Nursing Clinics of North America, June edition: (citation): S. Patten and K. A. Goudreau. "The Bright Future for Clinical Nurse Specialist." 2012.


Kelly Goudreau, director for Patient Care Services/nurse executive, VA SORCC, is being inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing on October 13, 2012.


Linda M. Bay, Med-Surg and Critical Care CNS at the Milwaukee (Wisconsin) VAMC, was elected to the Board of Directors for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Her 3-year term begins July 2012.


Mary L. Thomas, hematology CNS at the Palo Alto (California) VAMC, presented an instructional session, "Personalized Healthcare: Interpreting What It Means for the Practitioner and the Patient" at the Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress in New Orleans in May 2012. She has also published 2 articles, one in the Oncology Nursing Forum (citation): M. L. Thomas, J. Elliott, S. Rao, F. Fahey, S. Paul, C. Miaskowski. "A Randomized Clinical Trial of Education or Motivational-Interviewing-Based Coaching Compared to Usual Care to Improve Cancer Pain Management." Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012;39(1):39-49; and the second article in the Journal of Supportive Oncology (citation): M. L. Thomas. "The Impact of Myelodysplastic Syndromes on Quality of Life: Lessons Learned From 70 Voices." Journal of Supportive Oncology. 2012;10(1):37-44. Mary L. Thomas also has published an article in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (citation): M. L. Thomas, N. Crisp, K. Campbell. "The Importance of Quality of Life for Patients Living With Myelodysplastic Syndromes." Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2012;16(3)(suppl 1):47-57.


Christine Schwartzkopf, gerontology CNS at the Central Texas (Temple) VAMC, will be retiring June 29, 2012, having just celebrated 50 years as a registered nurse, 26 years as a CNS, and 12 years 6 months with the VHA. Christine recently submitted her revisions to Chapter 15: "Nursing Management of Dementia" for Kristen L. Mauk's textbook Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care, Third Edition, and she was the recipient of the 2011 Public Health Grant, "Healthy Hands Are Helping Hands," an educational initiative for staff, patients, and visitors in the Community Living Center related to hand hygiene.


Submitted by: Kathleen Dunn, MS, RN, CRRN, CNS-BC



The Wisconsin Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (WIACNS) education segment of their bimonthly general meetings has focused on Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) innovations. Two pioneering topics include "CNS Education for the Future" and "APNs and Politics."


Currently, our WIACNS legislative liaison is actively participating in discussions around title protection for Wisconsin APNs, and WIACNS will actively promote and advertise the impact of the CNS during National CNS Week in September. Past strategies have included proclamations from the governor and from the mayors of major cities. Many healthcare organizations have promoted CNS Week by placing the spotlight on the role of the CNS. A few examples include (1) weekly newsletter titled "Walk With Me," highlighting an individual CNS's certification, specialty, and contact information; (2) CNS awards based on 3 spheres of influence; and (3) bag lunch sessions: to meet CNSs within the organization, with the opportunity to ask questions and promote graduate-level education.


2012 New WIACNS Elected Officers: President, Stephenie Cerns (Froedtert Hospital); President-Elect, Sharron Coffie (Froedtert Hospital); Treasurer, Janice Ancona (Wheaton Franciscan-St Joseph); Secretary, Barbara Mangiafico (ProHealth Care). To learn more about WIACNS, visit our Web site (


The WIACNS annual conference will be held in October 2012, with the theme of "CNS Leaders: Transforming Healthcare." The keynote speaker will be Ann B Hamric, author of Advanced Practice Nursing: An Integrative Approach.


Submitted by: Stephenie Cerns, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, RN-BC, CHPN, and Sharron Coffie MS, RN, CNS-BC



NACNS is pleased to announce that 6 of our NACNS members will be inducted as The 2012 American Academy of Nursing Fellows: Lisa Hopp, PhD, RN, Purdue University Calumet; Cynthia Arslanian-Engoren, PhD, RN, CNS, University of Michigan; Kelly Goudreau, DSN, RN, ACNS-BC, VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinic; H. Michael Dreher, PhD, RN, Drexel University; Patti Zuzelo, EdD, RN, ACNS-BC, La Salle University; and Gayle Timmerman, PhD, RN, CNS, The University of Texas at Austin.


Susan Levtak, PhD, RN, associate professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is the lead author of a study that analyzed depressive symptoms surveys from 1171 hospital nurses in North Carolina. Hospital nurses have twice the national rate of depression. Research results were published in the Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice (citation): S. Letvak, T. McCoy, C. Ruhm. "Depression in Hospital Employed Nurses." Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice. 2012;26(3):177-182.


Janice Goodman, PhD, APRN, BC, psychiatric CNS and assistant professor at Massachusetts General Hospital, was one of the contributors of the ABC News feature "Postpartum Depression: A Risk for New Dads, Too." Transcript of the feature may be retrieved from


Kathleen Vollman, MSN, RN, CCNS, FCCM, FAAN, was chosen as the recipient of the 2012 ANA Honorary Nursing Practice Award. Through strength of character, commitment, and competence Kathleen has received recognition by her peers as one who contributes to the advancement of nursing practice. Ms. Vollman not only participates in community and organizational affairs, but is noted for demonstrating an unique ability to work with others with an innovative perspective.



If you have information you want to share about yourself, your NACNS peers, or your affiliate/affiliate peers, please send the news item to Tanya D. Williams at News items for the 2012 November/December issue are due by August 24, 2012.