clinical nurse specialist, CNS, night shift, off shift



  1. Becker, Dawn Marie MSN, RN, CEN, ACNS-BC


Night-shift nurses receive fewer educational opportunities and less administrative support than do day-shift staff, tend to be newer, with less experience and fewer resources, and experience greater turnover rates, stress, and procedural errors. In an attempt to bridge the gap between day- and night-shift nursing, a night-shift clinical nurse specialist (CNS) position was created in a midsized, community teaching hospital. The goal was to provide an advanced practice presence to improve patient outcomes, communication, education, and cost-effectiveness. The night-shift CNS participated in nursing education and skill certifications, communicated new procedures and information, and created a communication committee specifically for night-shift nurses. Through regular rounding and on-call notification, the CNS was available to every area of the hospital for consultation and clinical assistance and assisted with rapid responses, codes, and traumas. Providing education during night shift reduced overtime costs and increased morale, positively affecting turnover rates. The night-shift CNS position has improved morale and equalized support for night-shift nurses. More research, most notably in specific night-shift metrics, is necessary, and with the implementation of the role in additional facilities, more can be understood about improving patient care and nursing staff satisfaction during night shift.