1. Vollman, Kathleen M. MSN, RN, CCNS, FCCM

Article Content


The goal was to provide clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) with the essential tools of public speaking to help shape the priorities of care for their unit, organization, and profession.



The CNSs must effectively articulate their thoughts and ideas, whether it is to 1 person or an audience of 100 to successfully influence patient care, the development of nurses, and/or to advance the profession of nursing.



Clinical nurse specialists have significant variations in their competence to effectively articulate their thoughts and ideas in meetings, classrooms, and auditoriums. Skilled communication is a core competency for the CNS role. The challenges may occur in the preparation, in the delivery, or in the question and answer interchange. Failure to communicate effectively will impact the CNS's ability to influence and make changes within an environment.



This session will describe techniques to manage anxiety produced when attempting to articulate your thoughts. Key to successful communication is to identifying strategies for enhancing your professional image, which significantly impacts the initial impression period. Methods for organizing information and data as well as strategies for presenting your message in a clear and concise format will be outlined, including choosing a topic, assessing composition of the audience, defining the purpose, and crafting the message. A formula for thriving during the question and answer period will be discussed.



The goal is to have CNSs more comfortable with delivering impactful public presentations and demonstrating greater influence through stronger personal presence and delivery in one-on-one interactions and within a meeting format.



The CNSs must be able to convey confidence and articulate their thoughts and ideas in a concise, organized manner whether communicating with 1 individual, 15 people, or 500.


Implications for Practice:

This session will provide the CNSs with the necessary tools and techniques to sharpen their communication skills, professional presence, and ability to package their delivery in a more impactful way.


Section Description

The 2009 NACNS National Conference will be held in St Louis, Missouri, on March 5 to 7. More than 350 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are registered. This year's theme, "Clinical Nurse Specialists: Vision, Value, Voice," demonstrates the essential leadership skills of the CNS as well as the CNS role in implementing evidence-based practice.


Seventy abstracts were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in 3 practice domains (spheres of influence), emphasizing patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into 3 spheres of influence-patients, nursing practice, organization/system-including the development of clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, CNS practice in end-of-life care decisions, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNSs' contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, communities, as well as to the advancement of the nursing profession.


The conference abstracts were published here to facilitate sharing this emerging new knowledge with those who were unable to attend the conference. As you read each abstract, appreciate the intellectual talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to the health of society through improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. We encourage you to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your thoughts and ideas on the conference topics. Watch out for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at NACNS' next annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on March 4 to 6, 2010.