Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
What is a Clinical Nurse Specialist?
A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). CNSs hold graduate nursing degrees and are experts in a particular specialty, such as population (e.g. pediatrics), type of problem (e.g. wound care), setting (e.g. Intensive Care Unit), type of care (e.g. rehabilitation), or disease (e.g. diabetes). They can work in any number of settings, such as a hospital, private practice, or a clinic.
Regardless of specialty or setting, CNSs provide leadership in clinical expertise, nursing practice, and systems innovation.
CNSs diagnose, develop plans of care for, treat, and provide ongoing management of complex patients. In many states, the CNS can prescribe medications, and durable medical equipment and therapies. They also provide expertise and support to bedside nurses, help drive practice changes throughout the organization, and ensure the use of best practices and evidence-based care to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.
CNSs have the skills and expertise to identify gaps in health care delivery. They have the expertise to help design, implement, assess and evaluate health care interventions to improve health care delivery and outcomes.
How Does The CNS Enhance The Clinical Environment?
Advocates for cost-effective and quality patient outcomes
Promotes patient safety
Serves as a patient advocate
Facilitates use of evidence-based practice
Leads in attaining
Assists with staff retention through mentoring
Raises the standard of patient care
Reduces costs through decrease in re-admissions
Assures compliance with state and federal healthcare guidelines