1. Dumpe, Michelle PhD, RN
  2. Modic, Mary Beth MSN, RN

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Many of the nurses entering graduate studies in nursing are selecting the NP or CRNA track. This has posed difficulties for organizations wishing to fill vacant CNS positions. The purpose of this project was to create an innovative CNS intern program at a large tertiary care center in partnership with a local university.



CNSs guide nurses through complex decision-making activities and role model evidence-based practice. Nursing care is enhanced when this role is available to nursing staff.



A needs analysis and financial analysis were conducted to determine the cost/benefit ratio of such a program. It was determined that these unfilled positions were necessary to the organization. The CNS interns worked part time but attended graduate school full time and received full-time compensation and benefits.



An educational partnership was developed with a local university to tailor a CNS curriculum for the CNS intern. The candidates were interviewed by members of the CNS group. Recommendations were made and the Director of Nursing Education selected the individuals from a pool of applicants. The candidates committed themselves to attending graduate school full time for 2 years and working at the organization for 2 years upon graduation. They functioned as clinical instructors for the first year of their studies and as CNS interns during their second year of graduate school.



The program is in its infancy. There has been no attrition to date.



To integrate 7 new CNSs into a work group that is cohesive and collaborative required extensive planning and commitment by the current CNS group. The CNSs are actively engaged in mentoring the CNS interns so that upon graduation they can assume their roles with minimal orientation.