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Who wants to host next year's conference? That question was posed at lunch to clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) from across the country who were crowded into a hotel ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisc. The year was 1981. The CNSs at that lunch did not belong to a CNS organization, they had responded to a brochure announcing a conference hosted by local CNSs. The host group had not predicted such an enthusiastic response. The conference was exhilarating, and it was worth repeating. After the Milwaukee conference, other local conferences were held-in Cincinnati, Nashville, and San Francisco. In 1983, the American Nurses' Association formed the Council of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and CNS-focused programs were held during the biannual conferences. In 1995, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) was formed. NACNS began hosting an annual CNS conference. The names and places may have changed, but it has always been exhilarating when CNSs get together.


This journal was started in 1986, born as the brainchild of Pauline Beecroft in the enthusiasm generated by a CNS conference. In 1999, it became the official journal of NACNS. This issue marks a turning point. As we celebrate our 15th year with the last in the anniversary series of classic articles, we begin a new tradition of publishing conference proceedings. The journal is pleased to feature the keynote address and abstracts from the 2002 NACNS Annual Conference, Vision CNS Influence, held March 14-16 in Atlanta, Ga. Thanks to Dr Suzanne Prevost for preparing her keynote address as a manuscript, and thanks to all the abstract authors who gave permission to publish their work. Now, the information disseminated at conference will be available to those who search the literature for evidence of CNS practice. As you look through the abstracts, notice the breadth and depth of CNS practice-rural and urban populations, acute and chronic care, patient and family programs, staff education, organizational changes, political action, and research utilization. The abstracts are evidence of CNS practice in the 3 spheres of influence. 1


The spheres of influence, defined in NACNS's Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education, are patients/clients, professional practice/personnel, and organizations/networks. The abstracts provide evidence of the skills needed for CNS practice in these spheres, including skills in consulting, educating, negotiating, collaborating, and communicating. Skills are tools used by CNSs. The spheres are domains of CNS practice, areas in which CNSs use their skills to influence nursing care and, ultimately, the health outcomes of individuals, families, and communities. It is time to emphasize CNS practice-and to abandon our old emphasis on CNS roles.


In her keynote address, Dr Prevost indicates that vision is a necessary criterion for success, but vision alone is not sufficient. Goals, plans, and product are required. The vision of NACNS's officers and board of directors is a journal that captures and communicates CNS practice. It is the editorial board of the journal that is charged with generating goals and plans to make the journal become the vision. The second of what is becoming an annual journal editorial board meeting was held on March 16 after the NACNS conference. Many ideas and plans were discussed. As readers, you are invited to participate in the ongoing dialogue about CNS practice by contributing articles, guest authoring regular feature columns, serving as manuscript or book reviewers, and challenging our thinking by sending letters to the editor. Our journal is our ongoing conference. And it is always exhilarating when CNSs get together.




1. National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists. Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education. Harrisburg, Pa: NACNS; 1998. [Context Link]



2003 Conference


Many Faces, One Mission: CNS Excellence in Clinical Practice and Leadership


March 27-29, 2003


Pittsburgh Marriott Center


Pittsburgh, Pa


The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists invites you to participate in the 2003 Annual Conference by submitting an abstract that demonstrates CNS practice. Of particular interest are abstracts that address evidence-based CNS practice, outcomes management, CNS as a change agent, models for CNS practice, marketing the CNS role, CNS educational programs, legal/ethical issues for CNS practice, CNS as a preceptor, CNS as consultant and collaborator, reimbursement, future trends in CNS practice, and other innovative and creative projects that support and validate CNS practice.


General Information


Abstracts will be considered for both concurrent session and poster presentation of NACNS's Annual Conference. Authors may submit abstracts of completed work, work in progress, or work presented at local or regional meetings. Do not submit abstracts containing information that has been published previously or presented to national or international nursing audiences. The primary author is responsible for obtaining consent from all authors and any employer clearances before submitting the abstract.


Paper presentations will be made in concurrent session formats and will be 45 minutes long. Poster presentations will be table-top posters. Authors of accepted abstracts must be available to present for the designated period during the conference. For abstracts with multiple authors, the authors must decide on the presenter. At least one author must be available during the poster session to converse with participants.


Guidelines for Submission:


* Send 5 print copies of the abstract-3 blind copies, with only the title at the top of the page and 2 copies with all presenters listed. For each author please include name, credentials, job title, and employer.


* Send one copy on disc in IBM-compatible Microsoft(R) Word. The disc copy should include the title and, for each author, the author's name, credentials, job title, and employer. Label the disc 2003 Conference Abstract, with the abstract title, primary author's name, and e-mail address or telephone number.


* The abstract should be approximately 250 words, single-spaced, on a single sheet of paper, with one 1-inch margins. The abstract should include:


* Statement of the problem, purpose, significance, and justification, a description of the practice innovation or change, implementation/design methods or procedures, evaluation, and implication for practice.


* The cover sheet should include contact information for the peson submitting the abstract, including mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address. Also indicate if the abstract should be considered for concurrent session (paper) or poster presentation or both. Abstracts will only be selected or 1 presentation.


* Authors of abstracts accepted for either concurrent session (paper) or poster presentation will be asked for permission to publish the abstract in NACNS's official journal Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice. Permission to publish will be requested with notification of acceptance.


* Abstracts may be submitted via mail or e-mail to: Indiana University School of Nursing-Lifelong Learning/Continuing Education, 1111 Middle Dr, NU 345, Indianapolis, IN 46202; telephone: 317-274-7779; e-mail:


* Deadline for submission of abstracts is July 16, 2002.



Conference participants will have the opportunity to network with peers, attend educational programs and exhibits, share information, and prepare for the future. The conference is being coprovided in cooperation with Indiana University School of Nursing-Lifelong Learning/Continuing Education. Contact Indiana University School of Nursing-Lifelong Learning/Continuing Education if you have questions regarding the submission of abstracts.