1. Clark, Angela P. PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, FAHA

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Renaissance and Resilience

We are marching forward into 2004. At the time of this writing, I have just returned from our NACNS national conference in San Antonio, Tex. The conference theme was "Renaissance in CNS Practice: Transforming Nursing in the 21st Century" and the meeting was quite a celebration. The word renaissance means "rebirth" and represents a period in European history where many paradigm shifts occurred-in art, science, literature, religion, and philosophy. It was a fitting title to reflect the new revitalization and demand for clinical nurse specialist (CNS) practice that we are seeing around the country.


The annual conference was a fabulous meeting and such an uplifting experience for those who were able to participate this year. The abstracts are published in the journal. One member aptly said to me: "When I come to this conference, I am with my people!" So true. We have much to celebrate as we continue to highlight the contributions we make to patients and the healthcare system, but we must continue to remove barriers to effective CNS practice and education. NACNS extends a big thank-you to the conference planners-Dr Sue Davidson and Dr Karen Lyon. Next year, we will be at a beautiful hotel in sunny Orlando, Fla, so plan to attend.


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.


The past year was critically important for NACNS in many ways. Guided by your leadership and a very strong board of directors, NACNS rose to meet many philosophical, legislative, and regulatory challenges. We sponsored our first Regulatory Summit in July 2003 with invited members from about 15 national organizations. We are planning the second one for July 16, 2004, to be held at Sigma Theta Tau headquarters again. We are continuing the member mandate to represent CNSs in national arenas around the country. This year, after the conference was over, the new NACNS board met for 2 more days-a total of 3 board meetings in 1 week! It was something akin to a marathon. Nationally, many challenges continue to come our way, requiring thoughtful discussions and analysis of issues. The new board of directors is enthused and already at work for you.


CNSs are resilient! A resilient person or group is one characterized as (a) capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture and (b) having an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. 1 Sound like us? A decade ago, organization restructuring and cost containment affected the numbers of CNSs that were available in many settings. Today, CNSs are recognized as vital to healthcare to improve the culture of patient safety, and to provide expert specialty practice. Our value is demonstrated daily, but we must maintain visibility to patients, families, and other stakeholders. Kathleen Vollman, one of our acute care CNSs in the organization, suggests that every CNS have a 2-minute elevator sound bite of what a CNS is and does for patients.


The new Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education (2004) is hot of the press and available for purchase and your reading pleasure. Please help us to disseminate it widely in the United States and get our messages out to places that will benefit CNS practice. Many thanks to the Statement Task Force for the days and hours spent in dialogue about the conceptual issues, the CNS competencies in each sphere, and educational preparation of the CNS graduate student. Educators, get those textbook orders in for fall semester! The Task Force was chaired by Sue Davidson, and myself, Kathleen Baldwin, Janet Bingle, Karen Clark, Nancy Dayhoff, Jan Fulton, Peggy Gerard, Barbara Hasbargen, Brenda Lyon, Theresa Murray, Jo Ellen Rust, and Beverly Tidwell.


Our members are our reason to exist. We are so glad that you are part of NACNS.




1. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. 2004. Accessed February 28, 2004. [Context Link]