1. DAYHOFF, NANCY E. EdD, RN, Vice-President

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Your NACNS Board is at multiple state, regional, and national "tables" on your behalf. As Helen Keller said: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." The Board wants you to know that your organization is devoting its energy and resources to representing its more than 1200 members and also clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) who have yet to join the organization. Your Board does so to fulfill its mission to enhance and promote the unique high-value contribution of the CNS.


One concern that several CNSs have voiced to the Board is that they feel as if they are invisible; that their voices are not heard at discussions and debates about the importance and value of CNSs to patient care. The following are just a few of the activities in which the Board is representing you to ensure that CNSs continue to be valued as one of the separate and unique categories of advanced practice nurses.


NACNS was invited to send a representative to an existing American Nurses Association (ANA) Scope and Standards Workgroup. The charge to the Workgroup was to revise the existing Scope and Standards of Advanced Practice Registered Nursing and to merge these revisions with revised Standards of Clinical Nursing Practice to create one document that explicates the Scope and Standards of Nursing Practice. I was privileged to represent CNSs at one meeting, held at ANA headquarters, and to continue representing CNSs through numerous e-mails and teleconferences as the draft document was finished. The draft of the revised Scope and Standards of Nursing Practice is now undergoing internal review at ANA. The draft, with revisions, is expected to be posted on the ANA Web site for comment from mid-January to mid-March. The Board encourages every CNS to review the draft and provide comments. As always with a committee composed of members with differing viewpoints, including CNSs and nurse practitioners (NPs), there was consensus as well as decisions to differ, with the majority vote ruling. However, the document will be considered as draft when posted on the Web site; this is your opportunity to let your voice be heard and influence the final statement.


As a result of past work by several NACNS and Board members, NACNS is engaging with representatives from National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) to develop a statement articulating the differences between CNSs and NPs. During past discussions at various tables, it was apparent that there are differing opinions about the differences and similarities between CNSs and NPs. For example, one view that contrasts the position of NACNS is that the practices of CNSs and NPs are essentially the same, it is just the roles that are different. The NACNS Board suggested to NONPF that a joint paper would be timely to clearly articulate that although CNSs and NPs both arise from the same basic registered nurse preparation, there are clear differences in their advanced practices. Developing a statement paper through the efforts of both of the Boards that clearly articulates the differences between CNS and NP practice will have widespread influence-assist members of both advanced practice groups to articulate differences, assist potential students to make educational decisions based upon the clear understanding of the differences, assist faculties with curriculum design, and assist employers in creating job descriptions and hiring the right person for the right job. The NACNS Board will keep its membership apprised of the progress.


Finally, the NACNS Board looks forward to meeting you and discussing how it can better represent your needs at the NACNS National Conference, which is scheduled for March 27-29, 2003, at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. You will you have an opportunity to network with other CNSs from across the country; past participants say they become re-energized as CNSs from attending the conference. You will have the opportunity to hear two nationally recognized nurse leaders (Gail Wolf, DNS, RN, FAAN, and Karlene Kerfott, PhD, RN, CNAA, FAAN), choose from 24 concurrent sessions, and review and talk with authors of 48 posters. There will also be a general session, with a panel of members from national organizations, to discuss and debate CNS certification and second licensure issues. If the regular program is not enough for you, plan to attend one of the two preconferences that will be held on the afternoon of March 26 and morning of March 27. One will focus on Pharmacology Update and one will be an Educational Summit. You can view more detail about the conference and register on line by going to and click on Upcoming Meetings.


One of the activities of the Board, through a work group, is to update the first Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education. This seminal work has influenced curriculums and job descriptions as well as helped individual CNSs articulate their scope of practice and how they use their CNS competencies to improve clinical and fiscal outcomes. Based upon feedback of the initial document and changes in healthcare since its publication in 1998, the workgroup has spent the past year preparing a draft manuscript to improve clarity, expand breadth as well as specificity of CNS competencies and outcomes, and clarify recommendations for graduate preparation. The educational recommendations will be discussed at the Educational Summit preconference, and the entire draft Statement will be discussed at one of the breakfast sessions during the conference to obtain participants' feedback. The NACNS convention may be one of the most important conferences you to attend this year. The Board looks forward to seeing you there. If you cannot attend, abstracts of the presentations will be published in the CNS journal so you can share in the excellence of your colleagues.


The theme of this year's NACNS convention is "Many Faces, One Mission: CNS Excellence." This theme could well be the motto of NACNS. The theme is consistent with Helen Keller's wise words: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." If you cannot join us in Pittsburgh, please let the Board know your concerns and questions, how you would like to participate in NACNS, and how NACNS can best meet your needs. Go to the Web site or call the NACNS office at 717-234-6799.


NACNS Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education

This document articulates the competencies requisite to CNS practice, outlines the necessary outcomes of nursing, and provides direction to schools of nursing regarding the preparation of CNSs. You can purchase your copy of this landmark document through the NACNS Office. The cost is $15 per copy for members of NACNS and $25 per copy for nonmembers. Discounts are offered on purchases of 15 copies or more. Contact the NACNS Office today to order your copy of the Statement.