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clinical nurse specialist, COVID-19, pandemic, pandemic and crisis planning



  1. Pate, Kimberly DNP, RN, ACCNS-AG, PCCN-K
  2. Shaffer, Kathy DNP, RN, AGCNS-BC
  3. Belin, Latasia MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, ONC
  4. Brelewski, Kiersten MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, OCN
  5. Fuller, Kayla MSN, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN
  6. Gold, Charles MSN, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN
  7. Golden, Leslie MSN, CRNA, CNS
  8. Raynor, Nora MSN, RN, CNS, CPN
  9. Rutledge, Sarah MSN, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, OCN
  10. Spangler, Lacey MSN, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN
  11. Weaver, Kelley MSN, RN, ACCNS-AG, PCCN


Purpose/Objectives: The goal of this article is to describe how a high-functioning clinical nurse specialist (CNS) team rapidly responded to the needs of the patients, nursing staff, and organization as a whole to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.


Description of the Project: Using the advanced practice knowledge and skills, each CNS moved effortlessly between the 3 spheres of influence, patient, nursing, and organization, to address the unique needs of the COVID-positive patient, as well as the routinely ill who still needed care during a pandemic. In addition to observing and addressing opportunities at the bedside, the CNS team was essential in the development of plans of care, crisis care standards, and a structure for critical care cross-training.


Outcomes: Five themes essential to success were identified: a common motivation and goal, collaboration, the importance of communication in utilizing established groups to create rapid change, power of influence, and the availability of a vast number of resources including professional nursing roles.


Conclusion: Using the expertise of a specially trained team of CNSs, an effective plan was established to ensure safe, optimal care during the COVID-19 pandemic and effectively support frontline nurses.