CNS is an Advanced Nurse Practice?

  1. Hi, I am looking into getting my masters online. I am not really crazy about the NP role but do now want to be limited in finding jobs. I have my BSN.. from what I understand its different state to state. I am from New York and cannot find if a CNS is considered an advanced practice nurse??? Anyone can help me out here? Thanks in advance.
  2. Visit Inspire1983 profile page

    About Inspire1983

    Joined: Nov '08; Posts: 26; Likes: 2


  3. by   NickiLaughs
    Yes they are.....they require master's degrees typically.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I would also consider that if you want to move EVER AGAIN you check out states board of nursing. I live in IL and in IL there is no difference between NP, CNS, CRNA, CNM. However, hubby took a job near MO and I found out that I couldn't practice as an APN in MO.
  5. by   llg
    The actual requirements and role definitions vary in different regions of the country. In some places, the CNS title is used only for people who have a special license from the state (beyond the basic RN license) that allows them to write perscriptions, etc. In other areas, CNS's don't get a special license and don't perform those "physician extender" functions. They functin within the basic RN scope of practice furthering the quality of that practice through research, staff education, project leadership, etc.

    Many people reserve the term "advanced practice" for only those roles that require a special license and include functions that are not included within the basic RN scope of practice. Other people use the term "advanced practice" for any role that provides leadership to the profession -- even if it does not require a special license to allow activities outside the legal scope of basic RN practice.

    That's why the posts here can be confusing. People live in different areas of the country where the term "advanced practice" is used differently and practice in different states where these issues are handled differently by the various state boards.

    My advice is to decide what types of jobs you want to do ... what types of activities you want to engage in ... etc. Then find an educational program that will give you good preparation for that type of work. Focus more on the job activities than on the title. However, understand that if you move to a different state, you may need some additional education to meet their requirements if their approach is very different from where you live now. That's particularly true if you want to function in roles that require special licensure and/or certifications.
  6. by   Inspire1983
    thanks for the responces. In new york I see that cns's are not valued even. Everyone is gaga over NP's but it doesnt appeal to me to be a physician extender. In new york as cns you cannot write rx's. I dont want to work hard in getting a masters and be so limited in jobs. Cns's need to be heard here ;-)
  7. by   llg
    If you are interested in a CNS role ... and not interested in a NP role ... have you consideed going into Staff Development? Staff Development instructors do some of the same things that CNS's do, but do not need special licensure, do not need NP certification, etc. It might be a role that would interest you.
  8. by   Whispera
    I'm a CNS in Indiana and I've written prescriptions. As a CNS, where I live, I could prescribe more medications that the NPs I worked with, in the same facility. My state allows CNSs to prescribe all controlled substances, but NPs have to be specialized NPs (not family practice) in order to prescribe all medications. Here CNSs are considered advanced practice nurses. A CNS has to have a Masters degree but doesn't have to have a special CNS license unless prescribing. A CNS can do all other functions, in Indiana, without that CNS license.

    While prescribing, I often wondered what was so wonderful about being able to do it. It comes with amazing responsibility. I also personally feel that being a CNS gives more opportunities that being an NP does. Depending on where you live, you might write prescriptions. You can teach students, patients, families, staff, and communities. You can do research. You can be the "expert" in a discipline, the one people go to for consultation for the unusual (example: I was the psychiatric consultant in a med/surg hospital for awhile).

    Sometimes NPs are limited to working for doctors, doing the work the doctors either don't want to do, or don't have enough time to do. In other words, sometimes they get the crud. Sometimes NPs are limited to doing physicals. As part of my CNS training, I spent a summer with a friend who is an NP in a doctor's office. She and I did physicals and physicals and physicals. It was a great learning experience, but it wasn't something I wanted to keep doing.

    I am not intending to say this is the way it always is, because I know it's different from person to person and from area to area. I'm just telling you what I've seen and experienced. Check your area and talk to people who do both NP and CNS work, to see what is possible and what they actually do. All we, here, can do, is give you our opinions.
  9. by   elkpark
    I see the CNS role as true "advanced practice nursing"; the other advanced practice roles are more like "medicine lite." (Yes, I realize that's a v. "politically incorrect" position in nursing ... ) As a child psych CNS, I have provided direct client care (psychiatric evaluation/dx and psychotherapy) in a wide variety of settings and taught psych nursing -- don't have Rx authority, don't want it, and wouldn't take it if you tried to give it to me (in fact, I've turned down opportunities to get it). Haven't needed any additional authorization beyond my basic RN license, my graduate education, and national CS certification.

    However, as others have noted, the legal definition of "advanced practice nursing" varies somewhat from state to state. Also, as llg said, I would encourage you to first figure out what you want to do, and then figure out what degree you need to get there ...

    Best wishes for your journey!
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Agree with all of you above. Decide first what you want to do then go for the education that will allow you to do what you want.