Career change to CNS

  1. I'm considering a career change to nursing and am looking at accelerated Masters programs, such as the UCSF MEPN program. The Adult / Gerontology CNS - Oncology (AGCNS-ONC) program sounds like something I'd be good at given my background (Director of Analytics and Data Science), but I'm worried about the job prospects.

    Specifically, I'm worried that I won't have enough experience to get a CNS-type job when I graduate, and that there doesn't seem to be many of these jobs.

    Has anyone gone through one of these accelerated programs and had success or difficulty finding CNS-type work?

    Thanks!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   stepbystep12
    The CNS house always seems to have no guests. Been there before and responses don't just flow in. Somebody say something. Following.
  4. by   elkpark
    There don't seem to be a lot of CNS jobs around these days. Fortunately, the CNS role is broad enough that you can work in a variety of capacities. There are plenty of people in nursing who seem to be determined to eliminate the CNS role altogether. I've been a psych CNS for 20 yrs, and, sad to say, it's hard to think of reasons to encourage anyone to take that route these days.
  5. by   Psychcns
    Agree with Elk Park. The CNS role has not gone away but if it is to survive it needs a boost. Many aspects of the role have been incorporated into the NP and the CNL role.
  6. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from stepbystep12
    The CNS house always seems to have no guests. Been there before and responses don't just flow in.
    This is because only a very small number of people work in the CNS role, especially compared to NPs.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    There are still a few of us around. lol

    I'm dual certified as both an adult and peds CNS. I care for pts from birth to death. I have an APRN role: I see pts, order tests, diagnose, write scripts, follow-up, etc. In IL, where I practice, I have full prescriptive authority and have my own DEA and NPI numbers.

    I personally would not be happy with the educator or change agent role or the "true CNS" role. And...to be honest, health care is a business. In order to keep your job as an APRN, you need to bring in $$ to your practice. So, you need to perform billable services. Just my take on it.
  8. by   imenid37
    I attended an online CNS program based in CA. In CA, your job prospects are probably much better than here on the East Coast. I do not think any of my CA based classmates mates worried that they would get a job as a CNS. The CNS role is very popular with organizations like Kaiser and UCLA. I wish I could say the same was true here in PA, but it is not. That is not to say you cannot get a job as an educator, case manager, or in the Quality Department. Licensure as a CNS differs widely from state to state. In CA, if a program is certified by the CA BON, you can get a CNS license. Here in PA, if you do not have a national certification which is recognized by our board, there are numerous hoops to jump through. For some specialties like mine, which is perinatal, there is no exam.
  9. by   Psychcns
    So this is why CNS in CA don't have prescriptive authority!! They don't want it. Their jobs don't require it.
  10. by   eshilts
    Thanks for the info, everyone. I'm pretty excited about the "true CNS" role as I enjoy reading research and seeing how I can apply it. I also like management and mentoring and think I'd succeed in a role with those opportunities.
  11. by   pennccrn
    I'm actually a UCSF grad from the CNS program here in CA. I'm also a PA native and I chose to relocate out here in CA for that region. I know Stanford uses CNS a lot and has many CNS positions open - they use them to see patients and bill them, but you need to be nationally certified in order to bill. So that's a stipulation of the employment. Agree that Kaiser uses them, there are more NP jobs it seems - but there are also not a lot of people pursuing CNS careers so it makes me stand out a bit. Not to open a can of worms here, but I work with a physician group that loves CNS's in their practice, but don't view NP's in a favorable light.
  12. by   ORNewbie007
    I hope this isn't too late. Just do the NP. NACNS does not advocate for the CNS role. I have written to them, I have become active in my state Nursing Assn. It is just not worth it. It is too bad. But, do yourself a favor and just go for the NP.

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