1. White, Kathleen M. PhD, RN, CEA-BC, FAAN
  2. Newhouse, Robin P. PhD, RN, CNAA, BC, CNOR
  3. Stanik-Hutt, Julie PhD, RN, ACNP, CCNS
  4. Johantgen, Meg PhD, RN

Article Content


To describe the recent literature about the outcomes of CNS effectiveness in achieving patient outcomes and discuss the gaps in the literature and make recommendations for future comparative effectiveness research on patient outcomes and CNS practice.



The quality, access, and cost of healthcare in the United States are concerns. While the healthcare system boasts the most up-to-date technology, 98,000 individuals die due to preventable errors and almost 50% of Americans do not receive necessary evidence-based care. The continued increasing costs of healthcare threaten the financial survival of the healthcare system. Advanced practice nurses are an important part of the solution to these problems.



There is a growing body of evidence that supports the safety, quality, and effectiveness of APRN care but, until recently, had not been systematically reviewed or summarized.



Responding to an RFP from the Tri-council, a multidisciplinary team of researchers completed a comprehensive systematic review of the scientific literature on the care provided by APRNs.



This session presents the data and conclusions drawn from this work. There is a high level of evidence that supports that the utilization of the CNS role in the hospital decreases LOS and decreases costs for hospitalized patients and a moderate level of evidence supports that the CNS effects lower complication rates.



Clinical nurse specialists have assumed critical roles as both direct and indirect care providers in our increasingly complex system. The CNS works with and through the system to plan, implement, and evaluate care delivery for patient populations in order to improve care.


Implications for Practice:

Health policy implications from the national to the organizational level will be explored, as well as implications for further comparative effectiveness research regarding APN care.


Section Description

The 2010 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) Annual National Conference is planned for Portland, Oregon, on March 3 to 6. More than 375 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are expected to attend. This year's theme, "CNS as Internal Consultant: Influencing Local to Global Systems," demonstrates the breadth and depth of CNS practice and leadership at multiple levels in organizations and on healthcare.


A total of 142 abstracts were submitted for review, and 58 (not including student posters) were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session; student abstracts will appear in a later issue of the journal. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in all 3 practice domains as described in the Spheres of Influence Framework for CNS Practice. Abstracts emphasized patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, CNS education, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into the 3 Spheres of Influence, the role of the CNS in developing clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, the role of the CNS in National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) activities, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNS's contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities, as well as contributing to the advancement of the nursing profession.


The conference abstracts are published to share new knowledge with those 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 for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at the next NACNS annual conference scheduled for March 9-12, 2011, in Baltimore, Maryland.