1. Cangany, Martha (Marty) MSN, RN, CNS, APRN, BC

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Name: Martha(Marty) CanganyMSN, RN, CNS, APRN, BC

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CURRENT POSITION: Medical Surgical Clinical Nurse Specialist


CURRENT AFFILIATION(S): Clarian Health Partners at Indiana University Hospital and Adjunct Faculty at the Indiana University School of Nursing


AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION: General Medicine and Surgery with a focus on fall prevention and pain management


PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION: Bachelors of Science (1990) from Indiana University School of Nursing and Masters of Science in Nursing of Adults (1996) from Indiana University School of Nursing


CERTIFICATIONS: Medical-Surgical Certification (APRN, BC) from American Nurses Credentialing Center


What first motivated you to become a clinical nurse specialist?

I knew when I graduated from nursing school that I wanted to further my education. Fortunately, early in my career, I worked with clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) who were excellent examples of advanced practice nurses. I was hesitant at first to consider the path of a CNS. In my job setting, CNSs were very involved in research and I was unsure whether I'd be able to master research content. Over time, and with mentoring by wonderful instructors and colleagues, I was not only able to realize the importance and the value that research can bring to our practice, but to also master the skills necessary to be a bridge between research and practice. In my current practice, not a day goes by where I don't use research to help identify best practice and application of best practice to influence improved patient outcomes.


What, if any, professional or career issues did you face early in your career as a CNS?

When I graduated in 1996 with my degree, there weren't a lot of CNS opportunities in my area. I took a position titled CNS/Educator. Since this was a new job for me, I wasn't exactly sure of my role. What became clear was that the organization wasn't sure of the job role either. So early on I learned that clear role definition and job expectations are not only important but also highly linked to success. I wanted my job to focus on CNS practice, and so I needed to get administration and the leadership team to understand and value CNS practice. Continually re-enforcing the CNS role and what our contributions are to patient care is a recurring theme in my career. Being able to articulate the unique contributions CNS practice makes to patient care is vitally important to your ability to make change and ultimately your long-term success.


What do you perceive are the key issues for CNS practice today?

In today's healthcare environment it becomes vitally important that patients and employers understand the value of CNS practice. This understanding must be grounded in data; therefore, we must be able to accurately measure outcomes. Beyond the outcomes for individual patients, we must be able to demonstrate the impact CNS practice makes on nursing practice and within the organization. In addition, CNSs must stay involved with the profession. When we come together and unite as CNSs we will have a loud voice. We can use that voice in many arenas to help shape the solutions to the many healthcare issues our country faces. CNS must be at the table as the future of nursing and healthcare delivery are both envisioned and crafted.


To date, what do you perceive as your greatest accomplishments as a CNS?

One of my greatest accomplishments was getting administration to create separate and distinct job descriptions for CNSs and clinical educators. This change has allowed me the opportunity to focus my career on CNS practice. I take great pride in my ability to mentor new staff and watch them grow as they learn from me. I love sharing my passion for the nursing profession with beginning clinical students at the Indiana University School of Nursing. These students have no idea what they are getting into many times when they come to the hospital for that very first clinical rotation to take care of patients. Recently I developed a computerized educational program for selected content to be included in the staff annual educational review. I was able to include the latest in evidence-based practice!! In conclusion, one of my greatest accomplishments has been to develop relationships with my colleagues who now understand what contributions I make to the patient and his/her outcome. I realized I had finally accomplished one of my goals when they nominated me for the 2003 Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year.


What do you enjoy or value most about the role of a CNS?

I enjoy the versatility of the role, the ability to make change and influence nursing care and patient outcomes. As a medical-surgical CNS, I work with a wide variety of patient populations-which is both a blessing and a challenge. I never get bored. I take great pride in calling myself a CNS. It has opened many professional doors for me and helped me grow into the nurse that I am today.


What advice would you give a new CNS starting out in this role?

Know who you are, why you chose to be a CNS, what your strengths are, have great communication skills and use them!! I believe that being an effective CNS is a calling, not a job, and you have to have the passion and love for nursing. My role as a CNS enables me to translate that love and passion into reality and to make a difference in the lives of those I touch through CNS practice.