CNS questions

  1. Hello all! I have worked in a Level II trauma center in Virginia since I was 19. I am now almost 24 and have been an RN there for two years. I have my BSN and am currently looking into ODU's Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist/Educator program. My main drive for going back to school is because I want more knowledge specific to acute and trauma care and think that I would like to help educate with this knowledge. At this point in my career, I don't think that I want to be an NP, but I definitely do NOT want to leave the bedside completely. I know that CNSs do not have as much autonomy in VA and do not have privileges to prescribe. I haven't been able to find many resources to help me decide if this track would be the best one for me. Since this program is not labeled as an "acute care CNS" will I still be able to focus on trauma care? I have looked through the school's curriculum and emailed faculty but I have yet to receive a response.

    Thanks for any help!
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    About Traumanurse11

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 3


  3. by   traumaRUs
    What type of degree do the nurses have that already do this job? Are they CNS or NP?

    What type of education are you talking about? Educating nurses re. New equipment, best practices, etc or educating the public on ways to prevent trauma or some type of pre hospital providers education?

    Im in IL where NP and CNS have the same role. Many of our hospital educator roles are MSN educators, not CNS or NP.
  4. by   Traumanurse11
    Well there is one CNS in our department and she has a desk job where she coordinates the trauma education and presents for the TNCC and ENPC classes provided by our hospital. I am interested in doing hospital education on trauma but I really don't want to fully leave the bedside because I am still learning the trauma role firsthand. I just am unsure if this is the best route for me to take. I want the advanced knowledge and training but don't think I want to function in the role of an NP.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Got it. Sounds like they are using this CNS for more of a staff development role.
  6. by   Traumanurse11
    Are most CNS roles going to be mostly the same thing as that in VA? I have tried looking up job descriptions here but have been unsuccessful in finding many. I just want to make sure it will be worthwhile for me to pursue this degree when I still want to have an active bedside role. Thanks for the help.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    The CNS role is ill defined at best. We operate at the whim of our individual state boards. lol

    I am an adult health and peds CNS who is also an APRN. You might want to look at the Consensus Model;

    American Association of Colleges of Nursing | APRN Consensus Process

    as it may change how you think of your future. Right now, you want to stay at the bedside. However, in the future, you might want to have more autonomy, ability to prescribe, care for pts, etc.. I pigeon-holed myself into the CNS role without thinking it thru. I am just fortunate that I live in a state where CNS is an APN.

    Personally, I think going the MSN|NP route with perhaps some education courses thrown in, would fit you better down the road and give you more options. You will probably end up working another 40 years or so, so by choosing the correct education route, you open the door to more opportunities.

    That said, you will also find that I truly miss my bedside ER role very much. My first year as an APN was extremely traumatic forr me professionally and colors everything that I now do, even 7 years later.

    Have you talked with another CNS (maybe one not so jaded as myself? lol
  8. by   mursej
    What was so character building about your first year as an APRN? I have just finished my first semester in my AGCNS program. I am hoping to be in the nursing patient education / staff development, policy role. I would also like to teach some in the traditional educator role. I felt the CNS role would best fit these goals. That being said I also considered down the road working in the APRN patient management role as my states practice act allows it. Wondering what I can learn from your first year on the job.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I made a very serious error. I realized I made the error because I got sucked into a situation where I had no training, and looked to a resource which was inaccurate.

    In retrospect I should have spoken up sooner and louder....and I will always truly regret it.
  10. by   mursej
    Do you feel you would have had the training if you had completed an NP program and not a CNS program?
  11. by   imenid37
    I am looking at a post MSN CNS. I am in the perinatal specialty. I am debating adult-gero which has an exan VS perinatal which does not. If I want to be recognized as a CNS in my state i must either take the exam (adult-gero) OR submit a portfolio to the BON and be designated as a CNS for whom no exam is available. This is a hard decision. I think I would do well with the perinatal curriculum, but fear I may have a problem with my BON. I have not done med-surg for years, so I fear I may not do well with adult-gero. It will be easy for me to find adult-gero preceptors but not so easy to find perinatal. Any thoughts?
  12. by   traumaRUs
    @mursej - nope wouldnt have made any difference. My education as a CNS has really prepared me for the APN role. My issue was more related to a knowledge deficit.