1. Barnes, Deborah MSN, RN, CCNS

Article Content

Patti Rager Zuzelo. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2007. $49.95. ISBN 0-7637-4038-1. 397 pp.


The Clinical Nurse Specialist Handbook is an excellent resource for graduate nurses enrolled in a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) program, the novice CNS as well as the experienced CNS. The book provides practical insights into the roles and spheres of influence of the CNS.


The purpose of the book is to identify relevant clinical and administrative issues the CNS may encounter and to offer strategies to effectively address these challenges. The first 2 chapters of the book cover the fundamentals of successful career planning, communication strategies, and workplace survival. Portfolio development, interviewing techniques, appropriate use of e-mail, organizing and conducting meetings, and developing and sustaining alliances are discussed. The next few chapters are dedicated to the skills of educator, consultant, collaborator, and change agent. Zuzelo discusses the impact of each skill set on the patient, nursing staff, and organization. Included in the chapter on consultation is a comparison of the CNS as an internal and external consultant. There are also some basic information and tips for the CNS who is considering entrepreneurial consultation. The final chapters of the book look at measuring the impact of the CNS through management of outcomes. A review of quality improvement models and tools is provided. The chapter on basic nursing business and the budgeting process explains key concepts and offers approaches and tools for product evaluation.


The text is well written, direct, and easy to read. The topic areas of the handbook overlap, but each chapter can stand alone. Checklists, tables, forms, case studies, and Web resources round out each of the chapters and help to clarify the subject matter presented. In addition, an extensive reference list is provided at the end of each chapter, along with a detailed index at the end of the handbook.