1. Rust, Jo Ellen MSN, RN

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Name: Jo Ellen Rust, MSN, RN


Current Position/Title: Director of Professional Nursing Practice and Nursing Care Quality


In 2001 and 2002, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists' (NACNS') annual conference themes centered on the concept of vision. At the 2001 conference, Dr Rhonda Scott, President, and I, President Elect, shared our thoughts on vision during the keynote address. I spoke about my own personal experiences in creating a vision and my own personal vision statement "Rise to the Occasion." The NACNS started as a vision of CNS influence. I am proud to say that I was a believer in this vision before the organization was formed in 1995. I am proud to be one of many who served in making this vision of CNS influence a reality. Here are my belief statements about vision and how they apply not only to the NACNS but also to CNS practice:


1. A vision creates movement toward a common goal.During the last decade of the 20th century, with the rising cost of healthcare and restructuring of nursing services for cost containment, CNS positions were being eliminated or retooled to serve in other capacities. The take-home message to some was that the CNS role was no longer viable. To others, it was a call to arms. There was a need for a national voice for CNSs. NACNS was created and now recognized as the official voice for the specific concerns facing CNSs today. Together we rose to the occasion and created a national organization to address CNS practice. It would not have happened without the endless work of the NACNS membership, volunteers, the organization's committees, the executive director, and the tireless efforts of every member of the board of directors since its inception. As CNSs, we owe a debt of thanks to the individuals everywhere who helped realize the vision.


2. A vision, to be sustained, requires constant attention.To continue to be that national voice, CNSs must be in touch with each other and with NACNS. We must share our achievements and our challenges. We must take every opportunity to communicate the current and future priorities for CNS practice in today's healthcare environment. Rise to the occasion. Speak out on CNSs' and needs. Get attention!To be the official voice, knowledge about CNSs and their practice must be garnered. When approached, you should complete surveys about CNS demographics or practice. CNS networks are key. Network opportunities include not only the national organization but also national, regional, or local conferences. Become a member, and recruit colleagues to join the national association. The organization has developed an affiliate structure as a fundamental networking and communication conduit regarding CNS practice. As CNSs we need to use all avenues available to publicize the work and value of our practice. Our daily actions speak louder than words to patients, nurses, and institutions about the unique and high-value contribution that CNSs make to the well-being of individuals, groups, communities, and systems. In healthcare today and in the future, there is a need for clear collective oration regarding CNS practice. Rise to the occasion. Share your voice. Share your practice by publishing in this or other journals.


3. A vision needs leadership.NACNS would not exist or be what it is without strong leadership. In general, strong leadership is needed in nursing today. CNSs are leaders and serve as great mentors to novice nurses. CNSs must share their wisdom and passion for nursing. CNSs must assist in the preparation of the future leaders for nursing. Rise to the occasion, share your talents. Be a mentor.


4. A vision must be dynamic, allowing for growth and change as we reach new understanding.NACNS is a dynamic, yet young organization. CNS practice must be dynamic. We must be vigilant to all influences on our practice. CNSs must be accountable for their own future. We must build strategic partnerships and alliances.The NACNS Research and Practice Committee will be reviewing and revising the NACNS Statement on CNS Practice and Education so that it remains a dynamic document. This document must meet the needs of current practice as we know it today but be visionary enough to create the future as we desire it to be. When the revised statement is ready for public comment, rise to the occasion: read it and respond. Help chart our collective course.


5. A vision serves as a key measurement of success for the outcomes to be achieved.CNSs must evaluate "the voices" speaking within the healthcare arena. Which voices are speaking to the needs of CNS practice? Does the voice advance the practice of nursing? Does it promote the high-value contribution of the CNS to patients, to nurses, and to the organizations in which they work? Next year's annual conference theme is Many Faces with One Mission. Rise to the occasion. Be a yardstick. Keep the voices honest. Join the voices. Be a visionary.




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