1. Barksdale, Peggy MSN, RN, CNS-BC, OCNS-C

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This year's annual meeting theme was celebration! After all, it was our 20th anniversary. We celebrated at a pristine resort, had nationally known speakers, experienced the challenges of Quiz Night, and gave away door prizes for any and all occasions. We were able to honor our leaders-among the conference attendees were past presidents who were recognized for their contributions over the past 20-some years. I repeatedly found myself listening to sessions and/or having conversations that convinced me that our future will be safe with our creative, innovative, and visionary members I met. As I begin my term, the new Board will collaborate to put forth diligent work regarding product by the committees and task forces; collaborate with other national organizations, and strive to continue to communicate with our members the value this association brings for all clinical nurse specialists (CNSs). It is a bit of a tradition that National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) presidents have to developed a theme for their term in office. As I reflect on continuing the tradition, I want to foster an environment that will allow us to be to be mindful of our rich legacy-to respect it and to remain committed to it. And I want to make the sincere effort to explore ways to continue to communicate strongly with the members of NACNS.


It is the NACNS members, our stakeholders and future leaders, who make this association possible. It is the collective intellectual capital of all of our volunteers past and future-that will continue to make NACNS a vital membership association. I am honored to serve as president of NACNS for our 20th Anniversary!


Nursing is an art - requiring as hard a preparation, as exclusive a devotion as any painter's or sculptor's work. For what is the having to deal with dead canvas or cold marble compared to the living body, the temple of God's Spirit? It is one of the fine arts, I had almost said the finest of the fine arts.


-Florence Nightingale


What a wonderful and enriching conference on Coronado Island in San Diego. We were warmed by the sun and the networking and knowledge of our work as Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). This was the 20th anniversary of being the NACNS. We owe our legacy to the founders Brenda Lyon, Pat Bielecki, Jan Bingle, Jo Ellen Rust, and others who were developing the CNS role, professionally and legislatively, and the ground work for this national organization in 1995.


In preparation for this first President's Message, I have reread previous President's columns. I found a variety of positions and opinions but the one thing that stood out "loud and clear" was that these messages are the recordings of NACNS history.


At the NACNS 2015 Annual Meeting, I had the honor of speaking about the path that led me to where I am today. My first degree was in fine arts, although I secretly always wanted to be a nurse. I found the quote above early in my nurse's training, and it spoke to this artist. I have come to believe that, as with many of you, I was able to blend what I learned in the fine arts with who I have become as a CNS. We have so many opportunities to bring the best of ourselves to our career as a CNS.


Healthcare is changing rapidly. The use and integration of technology have advanced beyond our imagination into our daily lives, into patient care settings and education. Change surrounds us. The NACNS Board, like many healthcare association boards, understands that change is necessary to remain vital to our members. I believe NACNS has an advantage over many other healthcare associations- we are the professional membership organization of "change agents," the CNSs.


I want to commend 2014-2015 NACNS President Les Rodriguez for his leadership and direction and selected theme: "Tomorrow belongs to us."' During his term, he led the NACNS Board in the development and adoption of the 2015-2020 mission and, strategic goals; proposed bylaw revisions, and led the adoption of the association's new redesigned logo. The membership addressed their comments and approval to these updates.


I want to express my appreciation for the work of the 2014 NACNS Bylaws Committee. This Committee was composed of Anne Hysong current NACNS Secretary and chair of the committee, Sharon Horner NACNS President-Elect, and Sue Davidson NACNS past president. With the presentation of these bylaws, the committee implemented a new strategy to communicate to our members by making available two webinars where they presented the proposed changes and rationale and engaged in discussion with individual members. This allowed the committee to refine the proposal and understand any issues that members might have with the proposed changes. The result was a set of proposed bylaws changes that we were able to present to the membership at the 2015 NACNS Business Meeting. NACNS looks forward to exercising the new content in 2015.


It will be my responsibility as your elected president to begin our path toward the 2015-2020 NACNS Mission and Goals. The NACNS Board, Committees, and Task Forces will be orienting our work toward these important targets. Let me share them with you.


The 2015-2020 NACNS Mission: To advance the unique expertise and value the clinical nurse specialist contributes to healthcare.


The 2015-2020 Goals:


* Increase the visibility and influence of CNSs;


* Serve as the national leader for CNS education;


* Promote the benefit the CNS brings to evidence-based quality, patient safety, and cost of healthcare delivery;


* Enhance professional leadership qualities among NACNS members;


* Be the authority for advancing the full scope of practice for the CNS; and


* Promote CNS research in order to further define the value of CNS interventions.



The Simple 6, Simply Said and Sought in our Role as CNSs

One symbol of change is the unveiling of the new NACNS logo. The revised logo includes the phrase, Clinical Expertise-Nursing Practice-Systems Innovation, and this important message is to communicate our professional role. The symbolism of the three spheres of influence, captured in the original NACNS logo, was reconfigured. The phrasing and the enlarged spheres explicitly express what truly CNS practice is. Some of you may know the story of the original NACNS logo. Like all organizations, a logo is essential. After many hours of discussion and the Board reviewing many options, the original sketching by Jo Ellen Rust is deeply etched in the revised newbie.


This year's annual meeting theme was celebration!



CNS of the Year

The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) today presented its prestigious Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) of the Year Award to Colonel Carole Farley, MS, RN, CCNS, CCRN, CMC, CHFN, Critical Care Master Clinician/CNS assigned to the 96th Medical Group on the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The award recognizes an NACNS member for outstanding professional achievement in all aspects of CNS practice. It is presented each year to a nurse who demonstrates CNS competencies and exemplary practice in patient care, nursing, and healthcare delivery systems.


Colonel Farley's expertise and influence have helped the 96th Medical Group earn "Best Hospital" of the year awards in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and the title of "Top Performer" from The Joint Commission for pneumonia, surgical care, and venous thromboembolism prevention. She was deployed to Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for her leadership and actions in the war zone. Her CNS expertise and professional influence directly contributed to a 98% patient survival rate of war wounded.


Colonel Farley also oversees critical care nurses' skills to ensure they are competent to deploy to a combat zone and because of her critical care expertise, she was appointed to the position of Air Force Surgeon General Consultant for Critical Care Nursing, overseeing the practice of 397 critical care nurses.


"It is our great honor to present the CNS of the Year Award to Colonel Farley," said NACNS 2015 President Peggy Barksdale, MSN, RN, OCNS-C, CNS-BC. "Her service to her country and her commitment to ensuring that our men and women in uniform get the highest quality of evidence-based care are truly inspirational. Among other achievements, she instituted multidisciplinary rounds and was the 96th Medical Group's lead for Partnerships for Patients, an Air Force initiative to address and reduce the incidence of 10 common hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). Her work, both stateside and in Afghanistan, is exemplary."


Farley earned her BSN from Bowling Green University and her MS in Emergency, Trauma and Critical Care from the University of Maryland.


Educator of the Year

The NACNS today presented its prestigious CNS Educator of the Year Award to Terri Ares, PhD, RNC-NIC, CNS-BC, lecturer and CNS program advisor at California State University, Dominguez Hills. The Award recognizes an NACNS member for outstanding professional achievement as a CNS educator. It acknowledges the recipient's excellence and innovation in preparing CNSs and in implementing the NACNS Statement on CNS Practice and Education.


As the resident expert on CNS education, Ares developed the current CNS curriculum at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Students report that the educational and clinical practicum she developed has been highly successful. Ares also combined the parent-child and gerontology CNS programs to accommodate demand and instituted a Professional Portfolio Presentation requirement to help students hone their presentation skills.


"Dr Ares has made significant improvements to CNS education at Cal State Dominguez Hills and has been recognized by faculty and students alike for her success in instituting new programming," said NACNS 2015 President Peggy Barksdale, MSN, RN, OCNS-C, CNS-BC. "We are proud to honor her as the CNS Educator of the Year in recognition of her exemplary efforts to ensure that her students receive the highest-quality CNS education."


Ares recently completed her PhD program in nursing education at Villanova University, where she received the university's "Best Dissertation Award." She earned her Associate of Science in Nursing degree from Mt San Antonio College and her BSN and MSN from California State University, Dominguez Hills.


Preceptor of the Year

The NACNS today presented its prestigious CNS Preceptor of the Year Award to Courtenay Wannamaker, MSN, APRN, CCNS, CCRN, PCCN, a CNS at Emory University Hospital. The award was designed to nationally recognize an NACNS member for outstanding professional achievement as a CNS preceptor. It recognizes a CNS preceptor who has demonstrated commitment to teach, coach, and mentor CNS students to achieve CNS competencies. The Award was presented at NACNS's Annual Conference.


Wannamaker's colleagues and students nominated her for the award. One nominator said she "has gone far above and beyond expectations in ensuring that her CNS student has excellent clinical experiences" and "ensures that the organization's mission in providing the best care for patients is achieved."


A student wrote that Wannamaker "has demonstrated exemplary role modeling through her ability to lead, achieve, educate, and mentor."


Wannamaker has been a preceptor since 2010, previously working at Mercer University, Georgia State University, the University of Delaware, and the University of South Alabama. She served as the Clinical Leadership Council Emory University Hospital cochair from 2012 to 2014 and as Hospital Fall Interventions Committee lead chairperson.


"Preceptors play an invaluable role in the development of CNS students," said NACNS 2015 President Peggy Barksdale, MSN, RN, OCNS-C, CNS-BC. "It's clear that Courtenay Wannamaker is inspiring her students to take on new challenges and truly come to understand and embrace the CNS role. We are pleased to honor her with the CNS Preceptor of the Year Award."


In 2014, Wannamaker received the MSN Preceptor Award for the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University and was also the recipient of the March of Dimes Nursing of the Year Award in the Advance Practice Nursing Category. She holds a dual degree in nursing education and acute care adult CNS from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University and earned her BSN at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University.


Affiliate of the Year

The NACNS today presented its prestigious Affiliate of the Year Award to the Wisconsin Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (WIACNS). The award recognizes an NACNS affiliate that has sustained membership growth, offered educational opportunities, built CNS leadership, contributed to NACNS's growth, and advanced the CNS role.


The WIACNS has worked hard to ensure advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) title protection in Wisconsin. The affiliate has a lobbyist and also conducted grassroots efforts to ensure passage of the legislation. The affiliate developed and distributed toolkits to help its members urge the legislature to support the APRN uniformity act.


During its annual conferences and other meetings, the affiliate regularly holds sessions and workshops on cutting-edge topics. It also works to promote awareness of the CNS role with other health professionals and the public through a chief nursing officer-CNS shared governance breakfast. In collaboration with a community organization, WIACNS will provide a CNS to lead a walk and health education activity as part of an annual "Walk With a Doc" program.


"The WIACNS has done a remarkable job of increasing awareness of the CNS role with healthcare professionals, policy makers, and the public," said NACNS 2015 President Peggy Barksdale, MSN, RN, OCNS-C, CNS-BC. "Their outreach and education efforts are making a difference, not only for CNSs in Wisconsin, but also for the patients they care for and in the state's overall healthcare."


Davidson Service Award

The NACNS today presented its prestigious Sue B. Davidson Service Award to Stephen Patten, MSN, RN, CNS, CNOR, director of Nursing Operative Care at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, and past president of NACNS. The Award recognizes extraordinary service to NACNS. It is named for Susan B. Davidson, a founding member of NACNS who served 2 terms as president of the association and chaired the NACNS Research Committee. The award was presented at NACNS's Annual Conference.


A member of NACNS SINCE 2005, Patten served on the board of directors from 2008 to 2012 and was the association's 2011 President. He served on NACNS's Practice Committee from 2007 to 2009 and was the cochair of the task force that is developing Family Across the Life Span Clinical Nurse Specialists competencies. He was also instrumental in helping define the perioperative CNS role.


"Stephen served as NACNS's president during a time of transition when we truly needed a strong leader," said NACNS 2015 President Peggy Barksdale, MSN, RN, OCNS-C, CNS-BC. "His guidance and wisdom during that transition and his outstanding work to define and strengthen the CNS role in healthcare are just 2 examples of Stephen's impressive leadership skills. We are proud to work with him and to present him with this prestigious award."


Patten earned his ADN from Mt Hood Community College, his BSN from Graceland College, and his MSN from Graceland University. He is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International.


Lyon Leadership Award

The NACNS today presented its prestigious Brenda Lyon Leadership Award to Carol Manchester, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, BC-ADM, CEO, a diabetes CNS at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. The Award recognizes extraordinary leadership in service to NACNS. It is named for Brenda Lyon, a founding member and the second president of NACNS, and was presented at NACNS's Annual Conference.


Manchester has served as both president and treasurer of NACNS and served as a mentor to other board members. She was instrumental in developing NACNS strategic goals and was a key participant on NACNS's Malnutrition Task Force, supported by Abbott Labs, and led NACNS's Doctor of Nursing Practice Task Force. Manchester also served on the nominating committee for the NACNS board.


"Carol's contributions to NACNS are impressive and numerous," said NACNS 2015 President Peggy Barksdale, MSN, RN, OCNS-C, CNS-BC. "Not only has she held several formal leadership roles, she has also acted as an exemplary leader, mentoring others and helping to guide several initiatives. We have benefited and continue to benefit greatly from her expertise and her dedication to ensuring and expanding the CNS role in guiding and improving healthcare. It's a particular honor to present her with this prestigious award."



The results of the 2013 Gallop Poll, "US Views on Honesty and Ethical Standards in Professions," once again find nurses as the most trusted. Eighty percent of Americans say nurses have "very high" or "high" standards of honesty and ethics, compared with a 7% rating for members of Congress and 8% for car salespeople. It is an indication of the faith Americans have in their healthcare providers and more specifically the nurse who provides the day-to-day care for patients. The nurse has been in the no. 1 slot since the nursing profession was first added to the survey in 1999. One year, 2001, is the only exception.


Nurses at 80% are followed by pharmacists and medical doctors who are tied for second. Third place is shared by police officers and clergy at 50%. So, congratulate yourself and your colleagues for topping the list!



On a recent association call, an ANCC staff person noted that ANCC has extended the application dates for a number of their NP and CNS certifications. This is good news for the CNS who may currently meet the requirements of the original certification examinations, but do not meet the criteria for certification under the new APRN Consensus Model-oriented certification examinations. Generally speaking, these national certification examinations will accept applications until December 31, 2016, and individuals will be eligible to take the examination until October 31, 2017. After that date, ANCC will only accept renewal by professional development and practice hour requirements for these older examinations. No individual will be able to test for certification with these examinations, but you will be able to renew.


You must review the specific information related to the CNS certifying examination you are interested in on the ANCC Web site. Please note, as this is a recent change, not all areas of the ANCC Web site indicate this change. The change in date information is found on each Web page that describes the specific examination. As of the writing of this article, ANCC has not yet sent a press release on this information.


This impacts the following CNS examinations offered by ANCC:


* Adult-Health CNS


* Adult Psychiatric-Mental Health CNS


* Child/Adolescent Adult Psychiatric-Mental Health CNS


* Pediatric CNS



NACNS would love to hear from faculty, students, and program directors on this issue. Will this change allow you CNS candidates to complete their program and be eligible to take a certification examination for licensure? Please send your comments to mailto:[email protected], with ANCC in the subject line.



Annually, CNNMoney reports on the "100 Best Jobs in America." For the second year in a row, the CNS role has made this list! Coming in number 7 out of 100 in the January 287, 2015 CNNMoney article, the CNS role is seen as a job that has "big growth, great pay, and satisfying work." CNNMoney interviewed NACNS member JoAnne Phillips, MSN, RN, University of Pennsylvania Health System, manager, Quality and Patient Safety. CNNMoney is reporting on what CNSs have known for years-the CNS role is an exciting, important clinical role that contributes significantly to the healthcare system.



We are very pleased to announce that Wendy Peavy has been appointed to the Georgia Board of Nursing Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Committee. Wendy has been a member of the Atlanta Area CNS Group and is currently practicing as a critical care CNS at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. She will be a strong advocate for the CNS practice in Georgia.