1. Duffy, Melanie MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS

Article Content

March brings new things to people, careers, and organizations. Spring arrives. Daylight Saving Time begins. We have nicer weather and more daylight to accomplish objectives. For me, March signifies a bold, new step in my career and as a member of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS). I am honored to follow in the footsteps of our previous president, Dr Sue Sendelbach, and step into the position of NACNS president. I am fortunate to be able to continue to work with her, dialogue with her, and take advantage of her knowledge, experience, and wisdom. I am also pleased to work with the knowledgeable and dedicated Board of Directors. Sue, the Board of Directors, Christine Filipovich (NACNS chief executive officer), Dr Jan Fulton (journal editor), and many others will be my village.


My past experience with NACNS includes several years as a member of the Legislative/Regulatory Committee, NACNS Board of Directors for 1 year, vice president for 1 year, and president-elect for 1 year. I have been the cochair of the annual NACNS conference planning committee for the past 2 years. I have had the pleasure of cochairing with Dr Linda Urden during the first year and Dr Patricia Ebright during the second. I have also reviewed abstract submissions for the conference for the past several years. And every year, I am extremely proud of the caliber and quality of the abstracts that are submitted and the wide range of subject matter that focuses on the talent of clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) nationally and internationally. Probably, my most rewarding project has been the editing and publishing of the book entitled The Clinical Nurse Specialist Toolkit. This publication will be an excellent resource for the novice CNS, graduate CNS student, and experienced CNS who may be looking for a novel approach to an old problem. I would like to personally thank all the contributors to the tool kit and convey a special thank you to my coeditors, Susan Dresser (NACNS secretary) and Jan Fulton.


Challenges to organizations continue even in a new year, and NACNS is not alone in this arena. We continue to advocate for our members. We are "at the table" when other groups or organizations are discussing changes that will directly or indirectly impact the CNS. We continue to participate in and, in most cases, lead discussions regarding CNS master's and doctoral level competencies and sound, coherent ways to operationalize the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) regulatory model developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and the APRN consensus work group. The NACNS is the established national authority for CNS practice, education, and research, as exemplified by the initiative that will culminate in nationally accepted educational standards for CNS programs that offer either master's degrees or practice doctorate points of entry. Cochairs Dr Angela Clark and Dr Peggy Gerard will lead this initiative to ensure quality CNS education. Another major project is the revision of the Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education. The result will be a new book describing scope and standards that guide CNS practice and education in educational institutions, as well as in everyday practice at the bedside.


Challenges and changes occur in the workplace and in the economy as well. People and organizations are making difficult decisions regarding how to spend money. Unfortunately, CNS positions are being eliminated. Clinical nurse specialists are examining their professional organizations: which ones deserve their continuing support and financial commitment? My response to these problems is to maintain a professional network of colleagues. Talk to your CNS friends. Read the CNS listserv regularly. Call recruiters. Be an active player in helping to solve your unemployment status. Contact your local newspaper, and offer to write a health-oriented column. Visit your local radio or television station, and offer to do a 5-minute talk on the "health issue of the day." Be visible! Let people know that the CNS is indispensable! And please maintain and support your membership in the NACNS and your local affiliate. Sign up for committees; volunteer for projects; raise your hand when someone asks for help. And if you are not a member, now is the time to join. Encourage your colleagues to do the same. The NACNS is your connection to your profession and career. It provides contacts and information not found in any other venue. Take advantage of it! The organization, Board of Directors, and the 2000 plus NACNS members are here for you.


In conclusion, I am honored to be the new president of NACNS. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors. And I am honored to be a member of an elite group of advanced practice nurses: the CNSs.


News From our Affiliates

California CNS Network

The affiliate hosted a very successful all-day conference at the Rancho Las Palmas Spa and Resort in Rancho Mirage on November 8. Members will be at Azusa Pacific University on January 24 and will be participating in a panel discussion on "Critical Issues Affecting the Role of the CNS." Clinical nurse specialists continue to explore prescriptive authority with our APRN partners in the state.


Submitted by Margaret Talley


Minnesota Affiliate

The Minnesota Affiliate is excited about the formalization of our organization with the State of Minnesota. We have a new slate of officers who will take on the responsibilities established by our new bylaws. We finally have our own checking account to manage the expenses associated with our annual education/networking conference. Our conference this past October was a great success. We were pleased to have the NACNS President, Sue Sendelbach, one of our members, join us for a presentation of what is happening at the national level. We are proud of the fact that the new APRN representative to the Minnesota State Board of Nursing, Maria Raines, is a CNS and one of our members. We look forward to an exciting year in 2009.


Submitted by Kay Greenlee


Veterans Administration Virtual Affiliate

Shelia Williams of the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Administration Medical Center has been named the nurse manager of their Alzheimer's unit. She is currently leading the initiative to get registered nurses at her facility certified in gerontology nursing.


Submitted by Kathleen L. Dunn


Central Florida Affiliate

The Association of Central Florida Clinical Nurse Specialists' focus for 2009 will be assisting Florida CNSs in obtaining state licensure. Through collaboration with the State Board of Nursing to streamline the application process, they hope to facilitate the recognition of more CNSs. As of November 1, there were only 12 CNSs who had successfully applied and received the title of CNS in Florida.


Member Recognition

News Briefs

CNS Foundation Update:


The CNS Foundation wishes to announce another great opportunity for the members of NACNS at the 2009 annual conference in St Louis, Missouri. On Thursday, March 5, from 7 to 9 pm, we will again be offering a special session entitled "Navigating the Volatile Financial Markets" presented by Don K. Shuck, CNS Foundation Trustee, and Merrill Lynch, senior vice president. This session is intended to assist you in the understanding of and your ability to walk through the opportunities and pitfalls of global financial markets. The session is open to all who wish to attend. This session was very well received by participants last year, and we are convinced that it will be highly valuable to all given our current economic times.


Mr Shuck has also volunteered to provide 30-minute individual counseling sessions throughout the day on Friday, March 6. These sessions are limited to the first 14 registrants. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, register at the time of conference registration for your individual session-look for the sign-up sheet at the registration desk. To get the most out of your time with Mr Shuck, please bring copies of statements or documents for which you may have questions or desire an opinion. Otherwise, contemplate your immediate and long-term goals, along with your current financial position, and you can spend some time discussing strategies that may allow your goals and finances to arrive at the same time in your life.


This year's CNS Foundation event will be hosted as part of the Friday Luncheon. We look forward to another successful year, and hope to meet you all in St Louis!


CNS Core Competencies Updated

Through the work of a national task force, NACNS core CNS competencies and CNS practice competencies developed by specialty nursing organizations were reviewed. The outcome is an updated set of core CNS practice competencies that are now being circulated for endorsement by stakeholder organizations. Contact NACNS for a copy of the competencies.


CNS Program Consultation

In response to frequent requests from faculty responsible for developing new CNS programs or revising the CNS curriculum, NACNS offers a consultation service. Experienced CNS educators provide consultation using either a self-assessment model or a more direct onsite curriculum review. Contact the NACNS office for more information.


Please contact NACNS Chief Executive Officer Christine Filipovich if you have questions or need more information.


2090 Linglestown Rd Suite 107 Harrisburg, PA 17110 Telephone: 717-234-6799 Fax: 717-234-6798


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