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

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President's Message

The President's Message in the May/June issue of the NACNS journal painted a picture of the nurse as a hero. The nurse is trusted by the public. The nurse responds when a patient is in pain. The nurse recognizes early any subtle changes in a patient's status. The nurse is a leader and role model. The clinical nurse specialist (CNS), also a nurse, is a mentor and preceptor. The CNS recommends evidence-based therapies and interventions. The CNS encourages professional growth and development in the novice and experienced nurse. The CNS impacts patients, families, nurses, nursing, and systems and organizations.


How does a CNS begin the journey to be so many things to so many people? First, the CNS obtains a bachelor's degree in nursing, then completes a master's degree in nursing in a CNS track, and perhaps continues the education process to pursue doctoral preparation. Throughout all this education, the CNS practices and gains experience. None of this is easy by any means! Long hours, hard work, dedication, and a significant financial commitment are integral to becoming a CNS.


What is the point, you ask? Well, the point is that so many successful CNSs would never have had the opportunity to practice if the support and financial resources had not been available. Where did the faculty come from that were instrumental in molding future CNSs? Why does one healthcare facility hire CNSs and the one in a neighboring town does not? So many questions and so few answers.


The time is here to address the unanswered questions. In honor of the National Nurses Week in May, the American Nurses Association (ANA), in conjunction with the Congressional Nursing Caucus, sponsored a Capitol Hill briefing to highlight the critical role of the registered nurse in the implementation of healthcare reform. NACNS was invited to attend the briefing. Rebecca M. Patton, ANA president, was the moderator. Speakers included Amy Garcia, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses; Linda K. Groah, executive director of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses; Linda M. Gural, ANA Board of Directors and staff nurse in an intensive care unit; and Susan E. King, executive director of the Oregon Nurses Association. Each speaker presented numerous ways that the nurse could become involved in healthcare reform.


The coming months will see similar Capitol Hill briefings with advanced practice nurses. Each APN group will meet with congressional members and aides to explain the specific role that each plays in healthcare. NACNS will present the role of the CNS, the educational preparation required to practice as a CNS, and how the CNS positively impacts healthcare in the community, school, hospital, and workplace.


NACNS supports funding for Title VIII programs under the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 201 et seq).1 Programs under the act encourage funding to nursing programs to increase enrollment, educate future faculty, and encourage healthcare facilities to implement concepts that foster nursing excellence and support professional practice.


NACNS is actively pursuing the addition of the CNS as a healthcare provider in the list of Standard Occupational Classifications, and NACNS is also pursuing the recognition of the CNS as an important APN component in nurse-managed health centers.


These are just a few activities in which NACNS is involved to begin the road to healthcare reform. That is the good news. The better news is that you, as a CNS, have an opportunity as well to begin changing the system. Make appointments with members of your congressional delegation. Explain your role. Describe a typical day. Discuss how you implement evidence-based interventions to provide quality, cost-effective care and improve morbidity and mortality. Call your local radio or television station and offer to do a "healthcare minute." Write a healthcare prevention column for the newspaper. Or consider sharing your healthcare message on a social networking site on the Internet.


If the previous suggestions seem a little intimidating, then begin with what you know. Meet with your chief executive officer and chief financial officer. Describe the CNS role and why it is cost-effective to employ you and others like you. Offer to meet with school counselors in your school district to explain the importance of choosing nursing as a career. And when you are asked to speak to a group about what you do, say "yes."


The time for healthcare reform is here. Nursing will probably never have a better opportunity to participate in such momentous change. Take advantage of it; be part of it. Take an active role. Do not sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to fix the problem. As someone once said to me, "Plan or be planned for!"




1. Public Health Service Act, 42 USC 201 et seq (West 1993). [Context Link]

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NACNS Updates

The NACNS conference is our opportunity to celebrate the organization's success and to recognize and thank the many people who have contributed last year to our accomplishments.


This report recognizes our committees and other individuals who have served in a leadership capacity over the past year.


2008 Standing Committees

We recognize and thank all of our committee members for the creativity and devotion with which they carry out their duties. Some of the activities and outcomes listed later in this report are solely due to our committees.


Affiliate Advisory Committee

Kathleen Dunn, Chair, Candace Becker, Chiquita Denney, Cynthia Japp, Debra Polster, Margaret Talley, Carol Manchester, board liaison.


Communications and Marketing Committee

Melanie Kalman-cochair, Anne Williams-cochair, Beverly Raye Bell, Kimberly Bishop, Sandra Gandee, Barbara Hasbargen, Patricia Tuite, Cindy Wetzel, Patricia Foster, board liaison.


Education Committee

Dr Nancey France-cochair, Sally Crim Tibbals-cochair, Kathleen Baldwin, Robin Dennison, Dawn Doutrich, Camille Payne, Demetrius Porche, Patti Rager Zuzelo, board liaison.


Legislative Regulatory Committee

Jo Ellen Rust, chair, Nancy Bickel, Jennifer Geitgey, Lora Lee Grutkowski, Timothy Heyse, Sharon Horner, Jeffrey Jones, Brenda Lyon, Pamela Minarik, Lynne Pompetti, Gail Springer, Melanie Duffy, board liaison.


Membership Committee

Kathleen Vollman, chair, Howard Thomas Blanchard, Peggy Davis, Maureen McLaughlin, Denise O'Brien, Ginger Pierson, Catherine Ryan, Dawn Seeley, Stephen Patten, board liaison.


Nominating Committee

Kathryn Davies, chair, Kathy Baker, Diane Doty, Cynthia French, Mary Beth Modic, Mary Nottingham, Emily Schmitt, Theresa Murray, board liaison.


Practice Committee

Margueritte Barksdale, cochair, Marcia Bixby, Co-Chair, Jean Bandos, Wanda Borges, Garrett Chan, Jennifer Embree, Terri Girt, Vincent Holly, Kirk Koyama, Stephen Patten, Jill Pierson, Suzanne Purvis, Jo Ellen Rust, Julia Senn-Reeves, Linda Shin, Patricia Ebright, board liaison.


Research Committee

Janice Buelow, cochair, Kathryn Sapnas, cochair, Nancy Albert, Cheryl Westlake, Kathleen Ellstrom, Jan Powers, Mary Waldo, Ann Mayo, board liaison.


NACNS Thanks These Members

The following individuals represented NACNS in special capacities last year. We recognize these members who devoted their additional personal time and resources to these important leadership activities.


Sue Sendelbach serves on the ANA Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics.


Garrett Chan volunteered to represent NACNS on a call convened by ENA for nursing organizations' discussion of JCAHO/CMS regulations addressing advanced treatment protocols.


Kirk Koyama serves on the DHHS Nursing Professional Advisory Committee, which provides advice and consultation to the Surgeon General of the United States; the PHS Chief Nurse Officer; and to HHS, federal health, and other leadership.


Rhonda Scott is an appointee to the National Advisory Committee on Nursing Education and Practice, which is advisory to the secretary of DHHS.


Terri Girt and Pat Foster are participating in the Academy of Med-Surg Nurses CNS competencies task force.


Robin Dennison and Linda Heitman served as members of the 2009 conference work group, along with conference Cochairs Melanie Duffy and Pat Ebright.


Linda Heitman initiated the development of St Louis area volunteers for the 2009 conference, and Jo-ann Burns assumed responsibility for the final volunteer assignments.


Pat Ebright is serving as a member of the Clinical Nurse Specialist Expert Panel (TEP) for the study entitled "An Assessment of the Safety, Quality, and Effectiveness of Care Provided by Advanced Practice Nurses" developed by the Tricouncil for Nursing and funded by many nursing organization, including NACNS.


Ann Mayo is NACNS' representative on the Interagency Collaborative on Nursing Statistics.


Our members serving on the content expert panel responsible for developing the CNS core examination: Darleen Williams, Mary Gordon, Jeffrey Albaugh, Margueritte (Peggy) Barksdale, Kathleen L. Dunn, Susan Goodwin, Theresa Kessler, Audrey Lyndon, Mary Anne Hale Reynolds.


Jeff Jones is serving as our representative on a task force convened by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association to address psychological/mental health curriculum requirements for combined NP/CNS programs.


Susan Dresser, Terri Girt, Theresa Murray, Suzanne Purvis, and Marilyn Wiley served as a Web site work group that made recommendations for content and organization of the redesigned Web site.


Anita All and Susan Jones assisted at the NACNS exhibit booth at the 2008 Magnet conference.


Pat Ebright, Ann Jacobson, Linda Urden, Sherri Atherton, Susan Dresser, Jan Fulton, and Patti Zuzelo served on the "Emerging Roles" task force that developed recommendations about strategies for positive positioning of clinical nurse specialists. The current marketing initiative was developed from one of their recommendations.


Kelly Goudreau continued to represent NACNS and CNSs on the APRN consensus work group and Joint Dialogue group.


Pat Bielecki, Jonell Allen, Candace Garko, and Candy Rouse developed the content for electronic reference material related to Women's Health. Marcia Bixby and Deborah Conley continued to provide updated content for critical care and gerontology materials prepared in prior years.


Our CNS core examination item writers are the following: Cynthia Balkstra, Anne Becker, Leslie Bruce, Mary Ann Francisco, Paula Funderburke, Amy Rettig, Cheryl Schmitz, Debra Siela, Evangelina Villagomez, Cari Zhang.


The CNS Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee members are Jane Sawall, Kathryn Steinmetz, and Sherri Atherton.


Student Poster Awards Selection Committee members are Sue Davidson and Barb Hasbargen.


Our Content Expert Panel members for ANCC CNS certification examinations are as follows: Theresa Posani (Adult Health), Jennifer Oberg (Pediatrics), Deborah Conley (Gerontology), Germaine Edinger (Psych Mental Health), and Joan Caley (Community Health).


Special thanks to NACNS committees for their leadership of the 2009 preconference session (Leg/Reg and Education), postconference session (Research), new member orientation (Membership) and affiliate development session (Affiliate Advisory).


NACNS Establishes the First Week of September as National CNS Recognition Week

One exciting highlight of the March 2009 NACNS conference was the official announcement of National CNS Recognition Week. The NACNS Board established this important celebratory event to coincide with the September 1, 2009, 100th birthday of Hildegard Peplau, who established the first CNS program at Rutgers University in 1954. NACNS was pleased to welcome Lucille Joel, EdD, RN, FAAN, Interim Dean and Professor at Rutgers College of Nursing, to join in this announcement.


Clinical Nurse Specialist Toolkit: A Guide for the New CNS-Published in March 2009

NACNS and Springer Publishing Company announce the publication of Clinical Nurse Specialist Toolkit: A Guide for the New CNS. This toolkit is a concise and handy reference guide designed for those new graduates and novice clinical nurse specialists (CNS) just getting started in this exciting new career. Containing all the essential information that a new CNS needs to know, this tool kit serves as a one-stop, all-inclusive guide for the CNS. Organized in an easy-to-use, bullet-point format, this book contains 6 sections, each filled with key topics and relevant information.


NACNS members may purchase this book or any other Springer Publishing Company book or journal from their Web site and receive a 20% discount. Go to the Member's Only section to get your discount code. The discount code is available in the Member's Only section, Discount Code-NACNS2. If members have purchased this or any other book from Springer and forgot to enter their discount code, please call Hy O'Brien, customer service manager, at 212-431-4370 ext. 225, and the invoice will be adjusted.


2009 Joanna Briggs Institute International Convention-"Ripples to Revolution: From Bench to Bedside"

The Joanna Briggs Institute takes great pleasure in inviting you to attend its biennial 2009 International Convention, to be held at the Hyatt Regency in the stunning city of Adelaide, South Australia, on November 18 to 20, 2009!


The 2009 convention is themed Ripples to Revolution: From Bench to Bedside. We have specially designed the event to bring together evidence-based researchers and reviewers, guideline developers, clinicians, educators, policy makers, administrators, and consumers from all over the world to work toward an integrated approach to improving global healthcare using evidence-based guidelines.


We expect more than 600 delegates to come together and celebrate the accomplishments of the evidence-based healthcare revolution! Throughout the convention, delegates will focus on envisioning the future so that the rippling effect of practical change in clinical settings can continue to help improve healthcare across the world. We hope that you will be able to join us in Adelaide for what promises to be a fantastic event and collaboration!


Abstracts will be accepted until June 22, 2009.



Chris Cafcakis, (08) 8303 3637, (, (08) 8303 4881 (fax).


Web site


Member News

Shelia F. Williams, member of the Veterans Affairs Virtual Affiliate (Dayton Veterans Administration Medical Center), is collaborating with the Dayton Black Nurse Association to help decrease obesity in the African American community. She recently wrote an article entitled "Obesity in the AA Community," which was published in the local newspaper, and the article can also be found on the Dayton Black Nurse Association Web site.


Members Susan Dresser, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNS-BC; Karen Cuipylo, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS; Kimberly Hodge, MSN, RN, CCRN-CMC; Kathleen Peavey, MS, RN, CCRN; and Mary Stahl, RN, CCRN, CCNS-CMC, CNS-BC, were recently selected to serve on the CNS Scope and Standards Task Force for the American Association of Critical Care Nursing. The purpose of this task force was to update the "Scope of Practice & Standards of Professional Performance for the Acute & Critical Care CNS," 2002 edition, of the American Association of Critical Care Nursing, a document for publication and release in fall of 2009. The 2-day meeting was held in Costa Mesa, California, on April 25 to 26.


Member Yvonne A. Dobbenga-Rhodes, RNC-OB, MS, CNS, of the California Affiliate, has an upcoming continuing education article to be published in the June 2009 issue of Association of Operating Room Nurses journal. It was entitled "Responding to Amniotic Fluid Embolism." Yvonne has served as a reviewer for this journal for several years and realized that there needed to be a more obstetric-focused coverage for those nurses who provide perioperative care during the birthing process.


Marlene Nadler-Moodie, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, recently participated in the Role Delineation Study for ANCC in the area of Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health. Marlene is now serving her second term as a member of the Content Expert Panel for Clinical Nurse Specialists in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing at ANCC. The Role Delineation Study included members from the Adult Psychiatric CNS Panel, the Adult Psychiatric NP Panel, and the "combined exam" members. "Meetings revolving around our mutual work brings us all to the same table and is very rewarding. Results from this work, which will include a survey that is inclusive of all APRNs working in Psychiatric Mental Health advanced practice work, will be forthcoming within two years and will assist us in framing some of our future directions."


Janet Parkosewich, MSN, RN, CCRN, FAHA, DSN, student at Yale School of Nursing, was recently awarded the American Heart Associations' Council on Cardiovascular Nursing 2007 Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. This award is presented to a council member who has exhibited excellence in the clinical practice of cardiovascular nursing throughout his or her career. As described in her nomination, "Throughout her career, Janet has worked tirelessly to improve the care of people with cardiovascular diseases and has helped them make lifestyle changes with long-ranging benefits. A cardiac CNS at Yale-New Haven (YNH) Hospital since 1988, Janet's practice truly embodies the multifaceted role of the CNS: driving innovations in practice, serving as a resource to colleagues across disciplines, and shaping the system of care to ensure quality and responsiveness to patients with heart disease." A leader in secondary cardiovascular disease prevention, Janet and her colleagues received the "Excellence in the Workplace Award" from the Connecticut Nurses Association for the development of the nurse-driven Yale-New Haven Hospital Atherosclerosis Treatment Program.


Members Ann Mayo and M. Wallhagen recently published "Considerations of Informed Consent and Decision- Making Competence in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment" in Research in Gerontological Nursing.