1. Atherton, Sherri MS, RN, CNS, CIC
  2. Busch, Ann MS, RN, CWOCN, ACNS-BC, CNS-PP
  3. Church, Victoria MS, RN, CNS
  4. Cole, June Ann MS, RN, CNS, COHN-S
  5. Holmquist, Jennifer MS, RN, CNS, CMSRN
  6. Locke, Christy DNP, CNS, CNOR
  7. Patten, Stephen MSN, RN, CNS, CNOR
  8. Richardson, Jenny MS, RN, CNS, CCRN, CNRN
  9. Tjoelker, Rita MS, RN, CNS, CIC
  10. Valdez, Christine MN, RN, CNS, CNOR
  11. Vogeley, Cathryn MSN, RN, CNS CWOCN

Article Content


To promote the value of the CNS role, organizational leadership must be informed about CNSs' contributions. This can be accomplished by providing examples of safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness outcomes.



The CNS role is often misunderstood and therefore not recognized for its contributions. Describing and demonstrating CNS value are especially important during challenging economic periods.



The CNS subcommittee meets regularly to collaborate on system issues but had not formally presented to organizational leadership regarding outcomes. When it became apparent the CNS role was not clear to an influential regional leader within the healthcare system, an invitation was issued and accepted to attend a future meeting. The subcommittee set a goal to describe and illustrate the value of the CNS role by highlighting specialty-specific outcomes achieved during the past year.



The 11-member CNS subcommittee developed content for a 1- hour presentation to include a description of the CNS role as it compares and contrasts to other APN roles, current CNS positions within the organization, and strategically selected CNS projects to highlight cost, safety, and quality outcomes. In addition to the regional leader, all members of the local executive team were invited to the presentation. Attendees were provided with a biographical sketch of each CNS. Each CNS presented outcomes specific to his/her project(s).



The presentation was well received by attendees and appeared to enhance the understanding of the CNS role. The CNS subcommittee was subsequently invited to present at a regional leadership meeting, which was attended by the medical center director, chief financial officer, and chief nurse executive from 7 organizations within the healthcare system. A recommendation was made after the presentation to form a regional task force to expand the CNS role throughout all regional institutions.



Raising the collective CNS voice to educate and articulate the value of the CNS role to leadership is beneficial.


Implications for Practice:

Setting the standard that CNSs communicate achieved outcomes on a prescribed interval to organizational leadership to demonstrate the value of their role is essential.


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.