1. Patten, Stephen MSN, RN, CNS, CNOR

Article Content


To recruit and retain new graduate RNs in the perioperative division of a large metropolitan hospital.



This organization was preparing to add 4 operating suites within the next 2 years. The organization had not been successful in filling open positions with experienced perioperative RNs. Over the pervious 3 years, only 50% of newly hired experienced perioperative RNs were retained past 1 year.



Of the current staff, 25% were eligible to retire. Locally, no school of nursing offered an entire clinical rotation in the OR. A study by Sigsby and Yarandia showed that nursing students who participated in a perioperative rotation showed a significant increase in mean med/surgical knowledge versus students who participated only in med/surg clinical rotations. With this evidence, a local college was approached and asked to use the perioperative area as a new clinical site.



An agreement was made between the hospital and the school of nursing. The hospital would supply the clinical site and a clinical nurse specialist at 0.25 FTE to provide both clinical and didactic instruction. The school would offer 8 students during their fourth clinical term a perioperative clinical rotation. Five students could also choose to return to the OR as their final senior clinical rotation.



Over the last 6 years, more than 100 students have chosen the perioperative clinical rotation, and 30 have come back for their senior clinical experience. The hospital has hired 12 of the new graduates, with 100% retention.



Innovation and partnerships with schools of nursing can result in solving the problem of recruiting, critical to fill nursing positions. When students have the opportunity to experience a clinical area and self-select in or out (70 students opted out of the OR for their senior experience) and employers have an opportunity to have an extended interview (240 clinical hours), a good match of student to the open position can be made.


Implications for Practice:

While the hiring of 12 new graduates into the OR filled the critical position, it diluted the average experience of the nurses. An extensive training program was needed, which required both time and expertise.


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.