CNS vs NP? - page 10

by NICUplease

39,361 Views | 99 Comments

Just wondering if anyone knows what the difference is between CNS vs NP. I'm looking more into the CNS program b/c I've heard there's more patient interaction than with a NP. I was told NP are for more diagnostic purposes. Is any... Read More


  1. 0
    I would be thrilled to serve on the dissertation committees for any one of you!

    Now ... how can we get the rest of the world to agree with us?
  2. 0
    Sorry to interject a personal question into your very interesting discussion but I'd love to ask all you experienced professionals for some advice.

    I am considering a career in nursing and, like many of you have pointed out, it is very confusing to figure out what path to take.

    I am interested in primary care in a clinic or private practice setting. I am also interested in public health, specifically bringing competent care and community education to the poor to improve health outcomes. I don't see myself a being happy working in a hospital long term. I'd like to be able to combine my interest in patient care with public health work...if that makes sense.

    I thought FNP was probably the right route to go but have been intimidated by the whole DNP thing. I can't tell if it is really becoming the new standard. I have read that several schools are phasing out their MSN programs and only offering the DNP. But in looking a the websites of several well regarded schools (UCSF, Columbia, NYU, Boston College) I've found that none of them are offering the DNP yet and make no mention of it (except Columbia, I think. who said they will offer it in future.

    I don't think I really want to go for the DNP and don't want to get an MSN as an FNP only to find that in several years I'm competing with DNPs for the same jobs and being labelled as "under-educated."

    Do you think I could find the focus I am looking for as a CNS or PA? I know there are also some combined MSN/MPH programs. I live in CA by the way but could be willing to move for school after completing my BSN.

    Again, sorry for the personal tangent. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
  3. 0
    I believe that if you aren't an NP by 2015, you will have to get a DNP in order to practice as a NP. What I've read says those that have the NP degree before then will be able to practice, but after that, the DNP will be the minimum requirement. That's alot of work to pack into 6 years but is possible.

    I have a friend who is a community health CNS and loves it.
  4. 3
    Quote from Whispera
    I believe that if you aren't an NP by 2015, you will have to get a DNP in order to practice as a NP. What I've read says those that have the NP degree before then will be able to practice, but after that, the DNP will be the minimum requirement. That's alot of work to pack into 6 years but is possible.

    I have a friend who is a community health CNS and loves it.
    There is a long thread about this on the NP side. Basically for this to become a requirement one of four things has to happen:
    1. Both CCNE and NLNAC would have to require DNP for NP programs. This is unlikely since they have never had anything to do with NP coursework.
    2. Medicare to require the DNP in order to bill (most likely since this is how the Masters requirement came about).
    3. All 50 states and the District of Columbia change their nurse practice acts.
    4. Both ANCC and AANP to change their certification guidelines to require the DNP.

    All in all the chances of any of these happening by 2015 is kind of remote. The push to masters for NPs took more than 10 years and didn't really change until 1998 when Medicare changed billing rules. Even then currently practicing nurse were grandfathered in.

    CNS is an option if the particular state considers CNS an APN. PA would also be an option .

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    FnpER, jpRN84, and Whispera like this.
  5. 0
    I graduated from Boston College in 1987, where I received my M.S. in Psych/Mental Health Nursing. The program did require that we do research, but I chose it because it was very clinically- oriented. I was able to become certified in both Adult and Child/Adolescent Psych/MH nursing through the ANCC. I'm sure I used study materials, but can't remember exactly which ones, before taking the exams.
    I let my certification in Child/Adolescent expire about 10 years ago. Now there is such a need for child/adolescent psychiatrists and psych CNS's/NP's that I have decided to sit for the exam again, but I can't find any materials specific to that exam? Does anyone know of any resources, or does the one offered by the ANCC for the psych/MH CNS exam cover adults and child/adolescents?
    Any feedback would be helpful.
    For those of you taking the exam for the first time, good luck.
  6. 0
    P.S. I do have prescriptive authority in Massachusetts as a CNS. I do not want to return to school to get an PMH-NP, or DNP. Does anyone know what the plan is in terms of grand-fathering us in? Or are we psych CNS's on our way out.
  7. 0
    Just wondering, can an NP who has specialized in women's health (CNM or WHNP or FNP), fill the role of a perinatal CNS? Or does the their MSN need to be a CNS degree? Thanks!
  8. 0
    Quote from ANPFNPGNP
    The last thing you want is to be in a position where you have to EXPLAIN your role to an employer. If there's any confusion, then the job will go to the FNP.
    +1,000,000

    The more research I do into this whole APN "thing." The less I want to do it. Especially, since my specialty is and would be Perioperative. That's a frickin' mess.
    Last edit by RNJohnny23 on Feb 26, '12
  9. 0
    Quote from llg
    I agree completely. I've been intersted in these issues and following the developments within the advanced practice roles since the 1970's, and I get confused. I feel sorry for young nurses today trying to decide on a career path for themselves. They have too many choices and too many people in authority each trying to "sell" their particular program.
    This is me exactly! I just emailed my DON asking what of those is a benefit to my hospital system. I'm loyal to my current employer, but who knows where I'll be down the road. I figured getting information where I live/work is the best place to start.

    I feel moved more to the extender role, but I want to also do patient care, of sorts.
  10. 1
    Quote from traumaRUs
    As an aside, one of the physicians I work with was a nurse before she went to med school. I just love working with her as she is thorough, competent and very, very caring. So...is this due to exposure to a nursing theory or because she is practicing holistic care?

    Am not sure. All I know is that she is a dynamite physician.
    \

    I have wonderful and similar issues with physician's who were nurses first. In my experience, they are the most receptive when it comes to communicating my recommendations to the patient. (using the SBAR) But they are that way anyway. I'm sure some of their nurse-life spills over into their behavior as a physician because they remember being on the other side of the coin. However, I've worked with some physicians who have NOT been a nurse and display this. For some, it matters, for others it doesn't.

    Now, there are many physicians, especially in specialties, have NO idea what nurses do, aside from the 'handservant' role. Once, a urologist told me that I wasn't acting like an RN because something wasn't set up just as he wanted. At the end of the day, I apologized and assured him that wouldn't happen again, but I told him that I didn't go to medical school not because I couldn't, but because I didn't want to.

    I digress, I feel that no matter what you practice as an APN, that foundation has been set. You may expand your role to more medical, but that basis upon which you built it can only serve you for the better.
    traumaRUs likes this.


Top