1. Hujcs, Marianne MSN, RN, CCNS

Article Content


To describe the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) role in the evaluation, acquisition, and implementation of products and technologies designed to promote patient safety and quality patient care and improve clinical outcomes throughout a healthcare system. Successful strategies for procurement in the current economic climate will be discussed as well as strategies for ensuring related practice change are sustained.



CNSs foster safe, cost-effective patient care and are leaders in influencing practice changes in complex organizational systems. CNS competence in maintaining fiscal responsibility is necessary to achieve procurement.



CNSs are essential in integrating evidence-based practices supported by new products, technologies, and system upgrades to enhance clinical care. Given competing priorities for allocation of financial resources, fiscal responsibility necessitates linking capital expenditures with established processes that demonstrate value, clinical effectiveness, and improved patient safety. In an urban quaternary academic medical center, CNSs utilize principles of value capture analysis to evaluate and acquire new products and technologies, partnering with 2 other entities to develop strategies to implement rapid, decentralized problem solving throughout the healthcare system.



Through literature review, quality indicators, standard educational programs for clinical nurses, and postimplementation monitoring of clinical and financial impact, CNSs contribute to adopting, ensuring, and reviewing new innovations in care.



For 2 fiscal years, CNSs have facilitated approval of supplies, equipment, and major capital purchases throughout this organization. Examples include value capture analysis procedures for intravenous catheter care supplies, infusion pumps, skin care products, integrated monitoring systems, and patient lifts. Appropriate use of new products and technologies is balanced with cost containment measures to ascertain the best possible outcomes for patients while managing resources. Monthly reports document practice enhancements for selected products and technologies, which include utilization, associated costs, and resulting changes in practice.



Effective strategies designed to validate new products and technologies facilitate organizational support and procurement. The CNS role is recognized as a necessary link to patient, nurse, and organizational outcomes. In these economic times, procurement is attainable.


Implications for Practice:

Maintaining fiscal responsibility and establishing collaborative relationships with nonclinical departments such as finance and administration ultimately improves patient outcome.


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.