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adult-gerontology CNS, clinical nurse specialist education, CNS geropsychiatric nursing competency enhancements, interprofessional collaborative practice education competencies, psychiatric/mental health



  1. Mayo, Ann M. DNSc, RN, CNS, FAAN
  2. Harris, Melodee PhD, APRN, GNP-BC
  3. Buron, Bill PhD, APRN, GNP/FNP-BC


Specific changes to the national clinical nurse specialist (CNS) certification are necessitating a move away the psychiatric/mental health (P/MH) CNS population focus. However, a rapidly increasing older adult population with P/MH comorbidities such as depression and anxiety means that the adult-gerontology CNS (AGCNS) will likely be coordinating much of the complex care needs of this vulnerable population. Therefore, strategies are needed to ensure AGCNSs are competent in advanced practice P/MH nursing. In addition, at this critical time in the redesign of healthcare, the Institute of Medicine has made interprofessional practice center stage for healthcare professional education. Therefore, the purpose of this manuscript is to propose aligning the current AGCNS population-focused competencies with the CNS geropsychiatric nursing competency enhancements and interprofessional collaborative practice education competencies. Examples of the proposed alignment and educational application strategies are presented. When AGCNS educational curricula encompass P/MH nursing at an advanced level from an interprofessional perspective, future AGCNSs will continue to be positioned to make significant contributions to the design of care systems and monitor and trend important outcomes, while ensuring safe and efficient, high-quality healthcare for older adults with P/MH comorbidities.