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

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"You made your past and you can make your future."


-Unknown author


Greetings to all as Clinical Nurse Specialist Week begins-September 1 to 7. This year, we asked NACNS members to suggest a theme for the week, and the Board voted for "The Clinical Nurse Specialist: Vital Link in Health Care Reform." I hope all are celebrating this specially recognized week. In the past, I have celebrated by printing and laminating the CNS Week bookmarks and passing them out, along with cookies, to my ortho staff. Another time, with the support of my CNO Jan Bingle, I helped create a new brochure showcasing the clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in our network. We want to know how you are celebrating! Please take pictures of your events and send them, along with a description of your activity, to mailto:[email protected]. We'll post as many as we can on our Facebook page,


I hope you all plan to join the September 2 webinar featuring Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN. She was unable to conduct the keynote session at our Annual Meeting and has graciously agreed to conduct it through this webinar for all interested members. Please visit the NACNS Web site for more information.


This year, we have changed the way many NACNS committees are structured. We sent an announcement asking interested members to submit CVs and a paragraph about why they wish to serve on a particular committee. The committee chair and Board liaison review applications, and the president makes the final selections. The response from our members has been very positive. We believe this new process will help bring new volunteers forward and increase the number of volunteer opportunities for members.


This restructuring did not affect all committees. The nominations committee has elected members, and the finance committee members are appointed by the committees began their work on July 1, to coincide with the start of the NACNS fiscal year.


NACNS's affiliates are crucial to our success. Newly appointed affiliate board liaison Vince Holly and I held calls June 10 to 11 to elicit feedback from affiliates, and we were delighted to hear from affiliates from across the country. These calls are particularly helpful to NACNS, and we hope they are helpful to our affiliate leaders. Please watch for notice of future calls in the CNS Communique and in e-mails to affiliate leaders. If you have new affiliate leaders, please send updated information to mailto:[email protected].


The 2014 Educator's Forum and Annual Summit were so successful that NACNS needed to find larger accommodations for 2015. The 2015 programs were held July 20 and 21 at the Westin in Crystal City, Virginia. Topics covered included CNS and DNP (doctor of nursing practice) education programs, changes in the healthcare environment, the impact of healthcare reform on the CNS, prescriptive and durable medical equipment authority, and development of the CNS Core Statement. There was also further discussion on the CNS Census and key legislative issues for NACNS.


Several attendees participated in a joint American Nurses Association (ANA)/NACNS Hill Day on July 22, at which they learned and practiced advocacy skills with federal legislators. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful to ANA for inviting us to join their Hill Day and making this opportunity available for free to our Educator's Forum and Summit attendees.


This has been an important and exciting year for increasing awareness of the CNS role with federal policy makers and our professional colleagues. We provided comments in response to the US Senate Finance Committee's call for ways the CNS can manage and coordinate care in chronic conditions. That Committee has established a subcommittee to investigate chronic conditions.


In June, as part of the APRN Workgroup, NACNS provided testimony at a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on the Frontlines to Lifelines Act. We sought an amendment providing all advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including CNSs, with full practice authority coverage, rather than just psych CNSs.


In other news from the Hill, the Title VIII Reauthorization Act, which provides federal grants to schools and other entities, was introduced this spring with technical corrections that include the CNS role every place the NP, CNM, and CRNA roles are identified. This will provide equity for the CNS particularly with respect to advanced nurse education grants covering CNS programs under Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act.


The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has incorporated CNSs in their report on team-based care. NACNS was pleased to be invited to its deliberation meetings on this issue in 2014. NACNS' executive director Melinda Mercer Ray and volunteer member Linda Hoke attended. The meeting provided a basis for the issues that ACC addressed in the paper. The position they articulated is the most nurse-friendly that we have seen in positions written by our physician-colleague associations. It is available on the ACC Web site,


NACNS has joined the nursing community to talk further with the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) about a document on monitoring patients on opioids in response to a 2012 JCAHO Sentinel Event published on this issue. We have been working to ensure that nursing's perspective is included in any statement released by AAMI. We are working collaboratively with manufacturers of this technology to support CNSs who may need to introduce new technology in lower-acuity settings.


Looking ahead, we have changed the annual conference timeline to allow us more time to review and select abstracts and distribute information on our meeting. The process for 2016 is underway, and we greatly appreciate the work done by those who prepared abstracts for this meeting. I strongly encourage you to make plans to attend the 2016 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on March 3 to 7, 2016. I look forward to seeing you all there.



CELEBRATE CNS WEEK-September 1 to 7, 2015

The seventh annual National Clinical Nurse Specialist Recognition Week is an important time for NACNS and our membership to celebrate the contributions of clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) to nursing and healthcare. In honor of NACNSs 20th anniversary, the association is offering a free webinar featuring Linda Burnes Bolton, PhD, RN, FAAN, the vice president for nursing, chief nursing officer, and director of nursing research at Cedars-Sinai. According to Dr Burnes Bolton, "Clinical nurse specialists use their knowledge and commitment to evidence-based practice to help organizations achieve excellence in patient care, service, and value. They are essential members of the leadership team." Register now to hear more from this fantastic nursing and healthcare leader!


NACNS established CNS Week in 2009 to commemorate the contributions of Hildegard Peplau to nursing and healthcare. Born September 1, 1909, Dr Peplau was a prominent nursing theorist whose landmark book, Interpersonal Relations in Nursing, emphasized the nurse-client relationship as the foundation for nursing practice and today serves as the basis of the CNS role in healthcare.


Creative information on how CNSs can celebrate CNS Week is available at


CNS Week Webinar

Linda Burnes Bolton, PhD, RN, FAAN will present a Webinar, "Role of Clinical Nurse Specialist in a Culture of Health" on September 2, 3:00 PM eastern.


Registration limited to 200 participants. Go to to register.



NACNS is excited to continue our high-quality webinar programming in 2015. This series of webinars is designed to provide the CNS with cutting-edge clinical and role information. The topics have been selected with an eye toward issues that cross specialties and may be seen in a variety of clinical situations. In addition, we have intentionally designed some of the sessions to provide much needed pharmacology CE! Please sign up for 1 or more:


Webinar Cost: Series of 6 Webinars


Members $260


Non-Members $295 Student $150


All webinars have been archived for later viewing.


Single Webinar


Members $45


Non-Members $60 Student $30


*This activity has been approved for contact hours by the PA State Nurses Association. The PA State Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of continuing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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The Future is Today: Entering a World of New Practice Challenges for the Clinical Nurse Specialist; March 3 to 5, 2016; Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Pennsylvania


Join CNSs from around the country at the original capital of America. If you have never been to Philadelphia, this is your chance! Philly is a melting pot of history, traditions, and immigrant cultures. This means lots to do and amazing culinary options! The city is home to the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence, highlighting the key role Philadelphia played in the founding of our nation. Annual meeting details will be posted on the NACNS Web site,


Abstract submission opened on June 1, 2015.


Deadline for abstract submission: August 3, 2015


Deadline for student poster submission: October 26, 2015


Registration open: End of November 2015


Early-bird deadline: Mid-January 2016



Across the United States, CNSs are making a difference in the lives of patients they serve, while improving care delivery in hospitals and healthcare systems.


We need to share these stories to educate policy makers, the public, and leaders in the healthcare system about the important contributions of the CNS. You can help. Send us your stories and tell us about how you have made a difference in your role. Whether it is decreasing length of stay for a patient population, decreasing the rate of wound infection, implementing new guidelines or regulations, or organizing care to address a unique patient care need, you are working in collaborative teams or as individual change agents to enhance the patient care experience and improve outcomes.


NACNS will collect your stories about innovative practice projects and initiatives and use them in a variety of ways to articulate the contribution of the CNS. We are asking members to send brief stories-just a few paragraphs-to mailto:[email protected].


It is not necessary to answer the following questions, but they might provide a nice guideline for your submission.


* What problem were you trying to solve/address?


* What solution/innovation did you implement?


* Whom did you engage in this solution/innovation?


* What spheres of influence did your solution/innovation address (patient/family, nurse, systems)?


* What outcomes have you seen?


* If you can, please estimate or cost out any savings that you have seen.



Please make sure that you do not use identifiable personal information related to patients in your story.


Submit your stories to mailto:[email protected]. Please put "Innovative Story" in the subject line.



At the urging of NACNS, technical changes were included in the House Title VIII Reauthorization bill-sponsored by Rep Lois Capps (D-CA) and Rep David Joyce (R-OH)-which will create equity among the APRN roles. Specifically, the Title VIII statute would be amended in 2 places to include CNSs:


* Advanced Education Nursing Grants would be available to CNS education programs by the inclusion of a CNS definition


* Membership of the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice would be modified to include CNSs on the advisory council



The Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) have helped to meet the nation's demand for nursing services. Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, these programs address all aspects of nursing workforce demand, including education, practice, recruitment, and retention. The Title VIII programs bolster nursing education at all levels, from entry-level preparation through graduate study, and also provide support for institutions and nurse faculty. Between fiscal years 2006 and 2013, the Title VIII programs supported more than 520 000 nurses and nursing students, as well as numerous academic nursing institutions and healthcare facilities, to ensure patients received high-quality nursing care.


The hope is that the House will pass the reauthorization bill this year. A companion bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate.


NACNS Committees Relaunched in July 2015

NACNS has relied on the committee process since its formation to assist in the work of the organization. Committees are an excellent way for volunteers to get involved in advancing NACNS' mission and to meet other clinical nurse specialists around the country. In 2013, the NACNS Board started several task forces to address the need for an additional volunteer structure to develop important resources for the membership. Since then, the task forces have developed toolkits, white papers, webinars, and other valuable assets to support clinical nurse specialists in their practices.


Task Forces

The NACNS Board of Directors determines the topics for task forces and appoints the members of each task force. The task forces are intended to be short-term, subject-related work groups. Among the issues NACNS task forces have addressed or are addressing are alarm fatigue, transitions of care, malnutrition, and chronic care. Once the work of the task force is complete, the task force is disbanded.



NACNS committees are composed of NACNS member volunteers. Starting this year, we began a process that includes a call for volunteers for a specific committee. To be considered for a committee, a member must respond to the annual call for volunteers. Members are then appointed to a committee for a 2-year term. This term can be renewed for a total of 6 years.


The work of the committees is more general and ongoing than that of the task forces. NACNS committees assist the Board with issue identification, policy development and practice issues. The Board develops annual charges for each committee; these charges drive the work of those committees. NACNS' committees for 2015-2016 include affiliate, education, finance, legislative/regulatory, practice, and research. The nominating committee is the one committee that is elected by the NACNS membership. This committee is mandated by the bylaws and develops the annual ballot for the Board of Directors.


What Has Changed?

Traditionally, NACNS committees began their work in March of each year. Starting this year, the committees will begin their terms with the start of the new fiscal year-in July. The Board has also modified the committee policies to more closely reflect the work of the committee. We hope that the new processes will encourage more NACNS members to respond to the call for volunteers and take the opportunity to participate in the governance of NACNS. Look for the next call for volunteers in January 2016.


What Will the Future Bring?

The NACNS Board of Directors remains committed to the committee structure. As a result of the 2015 bylaws vote, the committees are designated in policy, with the exception of the legislative/regulatory, finance, and nominating committees. As health care evolves, the Board may create new committees and change or expand the focus of existing committees. For example, while there are no plans to do this, it is possible that the practice committee might expand to encompass both practice and education. The NACNS Board will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the committee structure and make changes as needed.


NACNS Using Social Media

As you know, NACNS is working to increase the visibility of the organization and the clinical nurse specialist role with our members and other nursing and health organizations through social media.


Last year, we launched an updated Facebook page, Thank you to the more than 900 of you who have already liked the page! If you're on Facebook and haven't yet liked NACNS, please do so. Facebook is a great way to interact with professional colleagues and keep up with pertinent nursing issues.


Now, NACNS has moved on to the next social media frontier, TWITTER. Twitter is a fantastic platform for sending out concise updates and information to a new audience. We are tweeting links to stories of your fellow clinical nurse specialists in the news, resources, webinars, breaking NACNS news, and other updates relevant to clinical nurse specialists. If you have a Twitter account, can you take a moment to log in and follow NACNS? Visit @NACNS at

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