Different roles for CNS's??? Come on guys share what you do! Different roles for CNS's??? Come on guys share what you do! - pg.7 | allnurses

Different roles for CNS's??? Come on guys share what you do! - page 7

Good evening everyone! Those of us that are CNS's have a great variety of roles/jobs and I am curious just what everyone else does. I graduated in May with a post-MSN adult CNS. Currently, I work in... Read More

  1. Visit  susanhrn profile page
    2
    ....and yes, I'm quite happy. I owe it to a couple of great mentors, one of whom held my feet to the fire with a threat of an incomplete grade if I didn't step out of my comfort zone. She always told us that we couldn't be great "Change Agents" if we were "afraid of change ourselves", and I've tried to live up to those expectations to the best of my abilities ever since graduating. I think that's one of the reasons that the CNS program at the University of Texas SON remains one of the topped ranked programs to this day.

    Once completing the core advanced nursing courses (i.e. phys/pathophys, assessment, pharm, etc.), we had to have additional clinical/work experiences that were not based in our core set which for me was cardiac critical care/some trauma. I tell you all that the first step I was forced to take out of my comfort zone was one of the hardest ever, but once I got used to it, I rarely looked back and wouldn't trade any of those experiences for the world (well, maybe one of them I would consider trading...LOL). I ended up with clinical experiences that back in '92-'93 were considered cutting edge (i.e. portable ECHMO; artifical heart, balloon, and CAD pumps; rehab w/motorized artificial limbs; new human skin burn grafts; and highly specialized cancer treatments to name a few). We also were at hospitals that were fully electronic in all aspects of clinical documentation, and, we had Email which was a huge thing back then because there were no GUI's yet (i.e. Yahoo!, AOL, Netscape, etc.). I suffered huge computer world shock when I returned home to Michigan in '93 to hospitals that were just starting EMR's or that still used paper kardex and med card systems (Old Timers know just what I'm talking about so you Newbies be quiet!!). I ended up with work experiences that were way out of my comfort zone because I had never had the opportunity or thought about developing them as a skill set (i.e. legal/Risk Management; financial/budgeting; unit design & layout; clinical research; translating research that I had actually participated in to clinical practice; and actually monitoring clinical studies that were in progress). I also received some of the best trauma training (and certification) available at the time in the USA at Ben Taub Hospital (only the LA General and Baltimore programs were comparable at that time). In fact, I was trained on the trauma "Golden Hour" method which was being researched at Ben Taub by Dr's Pepe & Maddox during my time there. All those experiences made me realize that it's fine to have core expertise, but that you also need to have experience in the non-clinical facets of practice to be truly able to create, promote, and sustain needed change (especially in todays business driven world).

    Anyhoo, thank you all for letting me type your eyes off and for the opportunity to share a small portion of my training with you! After being a nurse for so long, I have lots to tell and am willing to share whenever asked, ok?
    Last edit by susanhrn on Apr 12, '08
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  2. Visit  susanhrn profile page
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    WOW brizzo - that is a great role. If I may ask, what have been some of your greatest challenges and successes?
  3. Visit  susanhrn profile page
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    Trauma, same question to you about your experiences as a broadcast journalist - how have you been able to integrate that into ANP role? What have been some of your greatest challenges and successes?
  4. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
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    I really enjoyed my time in journalism but it is a cut-throat business and very political. It wasn't something I was cut out to do. I am much happier in nursing. Probably my greatest accomplishment is getting thru school - lol. When I went back to school for my BSN and MSN, etc., there was a lot going on at home. I really had to blank out much in order to study. I really feel I earned these degrees.

    Thanks for asking.
  5. Visit  Om3155 profile page
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    Hi everyone,I have been accepted to SFSU's Generic Masters program, accelerated RN followed by CNS in
    Pediatrics. I am trying to gather more information as to what opportunities would be
    available to me with this degree. I've read all of the posts but I still can't seem to get a firm grasp of the
    CNS role. This is a second career for me, coming from a desk job, I am interested in
    hands on patients care and working with families. I also have a strong interest in
    science, especially physiology. What are some of the pros and cons of the CNS degree? Thanks!
  6. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    1
    Much depends on your state's nurse practice act. If you are considered an advanced practice nurse (APN) then you usually have prescribing priviledges, ability to actually "care and treat" the patient. However, the CNS role has many branches: some CNS's are the change agent of the hospital, while others work in staff development.

    Is there a possibility of shadowing a pediatric CNS? Also, does the school provide contacts of alumni who have successfully found jobs? This is another biggie because if your area is saturated, finding a job might be difficult.
    Om3155 likes this.
  7. Visit  elkpark profile page
    0
    Quote from Om3155
    Hi everyone,I have been accepted to SFSU's Generic Masters program, accelerated RN followed by CNS in
    Pediatrics. I am trying to gather more information as to what opportunities would be
    available to me with this degree. I've read all of the posts but I still can't seem to get a firm grasp of the
    CNS role. This is a second career for me, coming from a desk job, I am interested in
    hands on patients care and working with families. I also have a strong interest in
    science, especially physiology. What are some of the pros and cons of the CNS degree? Thanks!
    I would turn your question around and ask you, what do you want to do with your career and what degree do you need to help you do that and reach your goals? How did you decide that you want a peds CNS MSN if you don't know what peds CNSs do and what you can do with that degree? Maybe you need to do more research before you make a decision, because it's an important and expensive decision that you're making. I'm not making any comment about the direct-entry MSN programs in general, pro or con, but I have known a number of people who became NPs, CNMs, etc., through direct-entry programs without any experience in nursing, and then discovered, after they had completed a very expensive and demanding MSN program, that they didn't like being an NP, CNM, whatever, and found themselves with a degree and "career" they didn't want, and a huge load of student loans that they still have to repay ...

    Is there some reason why you can't just pursue basic RN licensure, work as an RN for a while, get a better feel for what opportunities are out there, and then make a better-informed decision about furthering your career?
  8. Visit  llg profile page
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    Quote from elkpark
    I'm not making any comment about the direct-entry MSN programs in general, pro or con, but I have known a number of people who became NPs, CNMs, etc., through direct-entry programs without any experience in nursing, and then discovered, after they had completed a very expensive and demanding MSN program, that they didn't like being an NP, CNM, whatever, and found themselves with a degree and "career" they didn't want, and a huge load of student loans that they still have to repay ...
    I have the same concern as elkpark. Once you get some experience as an RN, you'll be in a better position to choose an advanced practice path. If the generic MSN program is right for you, then go for it, by all means. You'll be a step ahead. But I suggest working as an RN a year or so before investing in advanced role education. I too have encountered many people who regreted making such a big investment prematurely.

    The CNS role is essentially a "generic role" that focuses at an advanced level on a specific population. What distiguishes the role is its flexibility. Instead of preparing you to perform 1 or 2 specific job functions, a CNS education prepares you to fulfill a variety of job functions that require advanced knowledge of nursing processes related to a specific patient population. A CNS is prepared to provide to provide direct nursing care, be a resource for staff, teach, manage a program, research, evaluate care, etc. for the population selected (e.g. pediatrics).

    So, the role does look a little different from place to place ... person to person ... as the needs and the interests of individuals are not the same everywhere. The CNS must be able to design their own role based on the needs of her employer and the needs of patients and nursing staff she works with. That's another reason why it is good to have some clinical experience prior to becoming a CNS. It takes someone "mature in their practice" to have the judgment necessary to create and modify their role to suit the situation.
    Om3155 and elkpark like this.
  9. Visit  Om3155 profile page
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    Thanks for the replies.

    In response to "How did you decide that you want a peds CNS MSN if you don't know what peds CNSs do and what you can do with that degree?" I know I want to work with children, from my past experiences, I am completely sure about this. Since this is a second career for me I am limited as to where I could apply and SFSU is close by and affordable. I have been researching online here, and other sites as well as speaking to professors and other nurses. I will look into shadowing a Pediatric CNS.

    I posed the question to find out more about specific personal likes and dislikes about the role. Because I do not want to go through the program and be unhappy with the role. BTW, I am also considering an accelerated BSN program.

    Thanks again.
  10. Visit  elkpark profile page
    0
    Plenty of people have long, full careers as pediatric nurses without going to graduate school -- there are many options in pediatric nursing besides getting an MSN and becoming a pedi CNS, and there are much less expensive and demanding ways to get into nursing than direct-entry programs. I'm not particularly trying to discourage you; just encouraging you to look at all your options and not lock yourself into a particular path too early.

    I don't understand your comment about how "since this is a second career for me I am limited as to where I could apply." There is no reason that second-career people can't apply to and get accepted into "regular" ADN or BSN nursing programs; you also mentioned the possibility of an accelerated BSN program.

    We're getting kinda off-topic, so I'll shut up now ...
  11. Visit  Om3155 profile page
    0
    Ok..so we are now officially off topic! I was really just asking about your personal likes and dislikes about the role. Because I am trying to find out ,more than I know now, about the role. This is only one source.

    I know you are not discouraging me-and this is what I am doing, looking into all my options. And before posting here I have looked at them all, believe me.

    So what do you like and dislike about your role?
  12. Visit  ricknick92 profile page
    1
    Hi, I am also a CNS and am practicing in staff education. Here in NY a CNS does not have prescriptive priveleges and the jobs do not seem to be too numerous. There are positions in Manhattan and they mostly consist of specialty areas where it seems the CNS covers hospital units and does everything from policies to inservice as well as patient and family eduction (I couldn't speak to exactly what hey do in the hospital) <My position includes all staff education responsibilities such as orientation classes, inservice, policy and procedures, and committee memberships. I enjoy it and know I made the right decision and am where I wanrt to be now.:wink2:
    billythekid likes this.
  13. Visit  hello101 profile page
    1
    I am a CNS and most physicians I know look as CNS as an educator or researcher. I work for a doctor and function as an NP (diagnosis, prescribe, bill etc). The doctor who hired me knew that I was an ANP and did not care what if I was a CNS, NP, or PA...as long as I know my stuff and able to bill..I was happy that she gave me that chance and prove myself. It's sad to say but I had a hard time with fellow NP at the hospital who feels that I needed to go back to the NP program to do what I'm doing now. I remember hearing comments that "she's not an NP, she's a CNS"...(a lot of hosp staff has a habit or thinks I'm an NP so they will say I am an NP and that when the other NP hears this...They would correct them and made it known that I was a CNS. Which I do introduce myself as an APN/CNS...but still they see me as an NP. It is getting better that the NP are not "making side remarks"...I do my job and take care of my patients and I enjoy what I do. Any CNS who function as an NP out their with similar experience? Where I work there is only 2 others who function like the NP as a CNS.
    traumaRUs likes this.

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