Clinical Nurse Specialist - page 2

by AngelsRN 14,897 Views | 23 Comments

I am looking into graduate schools . . . can anyone give me some detail on what a clinical nurse specialist does? Thanks!!!... Read More


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    I also need to state that I did my CNS as a post-MSN program. My MSN is in management and leadership and I had several education courses, many management and leaderhip and change agent courses.

    My post- MSN CNS only required that I do adult chronic care, adult acute care and geriatric care which also encompassed advanced pathophys, advanced pharm and advanced assessment. I did 700 hours of clinical time also.

    I do know that I wanted the more medical modality and if circumstances had been different would have probably chosen the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. That is more the role that I identify with personally. Professionally, I ensured that I received a thorough clinical experience and intentionally chose clinical experiences where I felt that I was weak.

    I truly respect llg's opinion and have always respected her experience and insight. Thanks.
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    Quote from traumaRUs
    I also need to state that I did my CNS as a post-MSN program. My MSN is in management and leadership and I had several education courses, many management and leaderhip and change agent courses.

    My post- MSN CNS only required that I do adult chronic care, adult acute care and geriatric care which also encompassed advanced pathophys, advanced pharm and advanced assessment. I did 700 hours of clinical time also.

    I do know that I wanted the more medical modality and if circumstances had been different would have probably chosen the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. That is more the role that I identify with personally. Professionally, I ensured that I received a thorough clinical experience and intentionally chose clinical experiences where I felt that I was weak.

    I truly respect llg's opinion and have always respected her experience and insight. Thanks.
    Aw, shucks! Thank you, TraumaRUs. I think it is important that people figure out where their interests and talents lie (and their weaknesses) and then plan to educate themselves accordingly. I see too many people on this site who are investing their time and money in education that they don't really know much about. They are just going to school to go to school and hope they will find a decent career waiting for them when they are done. Some of them should just slow down and get to know themselves (and nursing) first -- before they invest their time and money in graduate school.

    I wish them well ... but think they are going about it the wrong way.

    llg
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    I am currently finishing my BSN and getting ready (mentally) to begin my MSN. I know long term I want to work in geriatrics--currently I am in Med Surg. Do you think that CNS-Gerontology is the way to go, Community Health Nurse, or possibly another avenue? Your advice would be welcome, since I don't really know alot about these roles
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    Quote from strong_willed
    I am currently finishing my BSN and getting ready (mentally) to begin my MSN. I know long term I want to work in geriatrics--currently I am in Med Surg. Do you think that CNS-Gerontology is the way to go, Community Health Nurse, or possibly another avenue? Your advice would be welcome, since I don't really know alot about these roles
    That depends on what type of work you want to do. Do you want to work in a hospital? Do you want to do Community Health? What type of job do you want?

    If you don't know what types of job you want, then you should take a little time and work in the field of geriatrics for a while. Work in the field and see if you like it as much as you think you will. Join the appropriate specialty nursing organizations. Read their journals. Go to a couple of conferences. Get to know people within the field and see what types of jobs they have. Pay attention to how you feel and how well you perform in different aspects of the nursing role.

    Combine all that information to begin answering the questions I posed above. That should provide you the direction you need to make a wise choice about your future career choices. Don't rush it.

    Good luck.
    llg
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    All of this information is great. I am currently in an FNP program to graduate in 2011 and recently heard of a possible requirement in 2015 that NP's will have to have a doctorate to practice. Now Im wondering, if this really happens, could I switch from practicing as an NP to a CNS if I decide I don't want to go back to school at that time? Any info that anyone has would be greatly appreciated!
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    Quote from 4nrn
    All of this information is great. I am currently in an FNP program to graduate in 2011 and recently heard of a possible requirement in 2015 that NP's will have to have a doctorate to practice. Now Im wondering, if this really happens, could I switch from practicing as an NP to a CNS if I decide I don't want to go back to school at that time? Any info that anyone has would be greatly appreciated!
    I've known people who have done that -- and it is sometimes possible -- but there are problems with that plan that you need to consider.

    You wouldn't have the right education for a CNS role and may find that aspects of the role are frustrating. You may struggle with those aspects of the role (staff development, project management, etc.) for which you have no or little advanced education.

    You may not be eligible to be certified as a CNS or eligible for CNS licensure in some states. Those requirements vary from state to state and it seems as if they are changing all the time. Personally, I have never had special licensure or been certified as a CNS even though I have practiced in CNS roles for years. In some states and jobs, it is no problem. But in other places, it is.

    The bottom line is that the knowledge and skills required of a good CNS are not the same as those required by an NP. Unless you get an education that prepares you for the functions of the job you want to do, you will be at a disadvantage.

    All that said ... There is a shortage of people educated as CNS's in many places. Back in the 1990's a lot of nursing schools dropped their CNS programs in favor of NP programs. Now, many of those areas are experiencing a glut of NP's who have trouble finding good jobs .... and a shortage of nurses prepared to work as CNS's in hospital settings. In those places, a NP can sometimes get hired to do the work of a CNS.
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    llg is right. I'm an adult health CNS who is actually licensed as an APN (advanced practice nurse) in IL. It is in your best interests to check out your state board of nursing site and find out what you like in the CNS-specific role and then compare it to your practice act. Many states do not consider CNS's APNs. I am in an APN role and really enjoy that aspect of the job. I do not provide any staff education or project development. However, I do have education in that - though from my MSN program, not my post-MSN CNS. Many MSN programs offer electives in education, curriculum development and project management. Good luck in your decision.
  8. 0
    Thanks a bunch for all the info. It really helped.
  9. 0
    Quote from 4nrn
    All of this information is great. I am currently in an FNP program to graduate in 2011 and recently heard of a possible requirement in 2015 that NP's will have to have a doctorate to practice. Now Im wondering, if this really happens, could I switch from practicing as an NP to a CNS if I decide I don't want to go back to school at that time? Any info that anyone has would be greatly appreciated!
    You might consider the CNL. If you already have your NP you probably have taken a lot of the basic MSN courses and there should be a post masters certificate available.
    http://www.aacn.nche.edu/CNL/faq.htm

    I would also agree with the poster above. The CNS certification varies widely among states. When I worked in the NICU we had a CNS that did staff development and education and NNPs that did advance practice nursing. The CNL sounds like a replacement for the CNS roles as it exists in some states (non APN role). The State BONs have made it pretty clear that they are merging both professions into the DNP.

    Where I am here in GA, CNS is not recognized. However when I was in Colorado one of the "NPs" in cardiology that we referred to frequently was actually a CNS (only took me three years to realize that.

    Right now there is no talk of requiring current NPs to do anything to continue working. Post grad certificates as Siri has demonstrated are wonderful ways to stretch your marketability.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
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    Thanks Core0 for the info! :spin:


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