1. Miers, Anne G. MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CNRN
  2. Cutshall, Susanne MS, RN, ACNS-BC, AHN-BC
  3. Derscheid, Della MS, RN, APRN-BC
  4. Ruegg, Suzanne MS, RN, ACNS-BC
  5. Schroeder, Barbara J. MS, RN, ACNS-BC
  6. Tucker, Sharon PhD, RN
  7. Wentworth, Laura MS, RN, ACNS-BC

Article Content


This study was designed to describe the knowledge, attitudes, and use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by CNSs in 1 large Midwest medical center.



There has been an increase in the use and awareness of complementary and integrative therapies in the United States in the last 10 years. Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are in an ideal place to influence this paradigm shift in medicine to provide holistic care.



This study utilized a descriptive exploratory correlational design.



Approximately 76 clinical nurse specialists who work in various inpatient and outpatient units within this medical facility were surveyed electronically in the fall of 2008, using a 26-item questionnaire developed by the research team. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.



The results demonstrate that CNSs at this academic medical center use several CAM therapies for their own personal use and for professional practice with patients. The top therapies that CNSs personally used were humor, massage, spirituality/prayer, music therapy, and relaxed breathing. The top therapies requested most by patients were massage, spirituality/prayer, healing touch, acupuncture, and music therapy.



The results indicated that most CNSs thought CAM therapies were beneficial and that there was some evidence for use of these therapies.


Implications for Practice:

The results of this study will help to determine the educational needs and clinical practice of CAM therapies with CNSs at this academic medical center.


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.