Please help!

  1. Hi!

    I am an RN on a Neuro Intensive Care Unit. My facility provides tuition assistance, so I have applied to go back to school. I am choosing the Clinical Nurse Leader track, which I understand is different from a Clinical Nurse Specialist. How would I go about becoming a clinical nurse specialist with this degree, and what all does the clinical nurse specialist job entail?
    Do you love your work more than you loved it as a bedside RN? What are the challenges? Is the job market good? Any help is SO appreciated.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Hi there - I've been a CNS since 2006, boarded as adult and peds CNS's.

    CNL does not equal CNS. CNL is not APRN, CNS is APRN.

    CNS can encompass many roles but in most states its an APRN. I practice in IL and my practice act is the same as an NP. As a matter of fact, with the Consensus Model now in place, FNPs are no longer being hired in the hospital but are only outpt now. As a CNS my clinicals were mostly inpt so I am able to fill both inpt and outpt slots.

    Ill be glad to answer any questions
  4. by   MurseJJ
    Quote from Nurse3242
    Hi!

    I am an RN on a Neuro Intensive Care Unit. My facility provides tuition assistance, so I have applied to go back to school. I am choosing the Clinical Nurse Leader track, which I understand is different from a Clinical Nurse Specialist. How would I go about becoming a clinical nurse specialist with this degree, and what all does the clinical nurse specialist job entail?
    Do you love your work more than you loved it as a bedside RN? What are the challenges? Is the job market good? Any help is SO appreciated.
    You would not be able to become a CNS with a CNL degree. To become a CNS you need to complete a CNS program and become certified. Now, some facilities have roles similar to the CNS for those that haven't completed the CNS program. For example, at my hospital, those that have not completed CNS programs and are not certified as a CNS may be titled "clinical nurse expert".

    CNSs at my hospital are in the "expert nurse"/"consultant"/"educator" role. We don't have too many unfortunately (the cancer hospital in NYC however has over 60 I hear), however those we have are basically consultants to the clinical nursing staff, as well as involved in staff education, orientation, etc. They also attend committee meetings, do research, create nursing conferences, etc. In New York, CNSs do not have prescriptive authority (though they are considered Advanced Practice Nurses), so that's the role of the CNS here.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Great comments Mursejj - this helps to show everyone that there are many different roles for the CNS.
  6. by   WestCoastSunRN
    TraumaRUs and MurseJJ, Could you speak to the concerns regarding the CNS role as far as employability and ongoing certification of CNSs? I keep coming back to this idea, myself, mostly because I really LOVE bedside nursing and seeing nurses practice at the top of their licensure with excelllence and expertise. I envision the role as inpatient educator/consultant -- as I've never worked with a prescribing CNS who treated patients.

    For someone interested in this path -- do you still suggest it? Would you be as valuable or more to a hospital system as a CNS as you are with a MSNEd? What certs are still available for CNS? I heard the peds cert is no more. I know AACN still has some certs. And how do you go about finding a good school?
    And do any CNSs still work at the bedside? Being that it is an APRN role, does it assume the same (potential) risk when working at the bedside as if you were an NP who worked also as a bedside RN?
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I'm an adult and peds CNS - both ANCC certs are long "retired"

    I personally would not advise the CNS degree. Although now with the consensus model here in IL, I'm very employable in the hospital as well as the outpt arena while my FNP counterparts are not getting hospital jobs any longer.

    The school I went to went with the FNP and DNP and NNP as their offerings.
  8. by   MurseJJ
    Quote from WestCoastSunRN
    TraumaRUs and MurseJJ, Could you speak to the concerns regarding the CNS role as far as employability and ongoing certification of CNSs? I keep coming back to this idea, myself, mostly because I really LOVE bedside nursing and seeing nurses practice at the top of their licensure with excelllence and expertise. I envision the role as inpatient educator/consultant -- as I've never worked with a prescribing CNS who treated patients.

    For someone interested in this path -- do you still suggest it? Would you be as valuable or more to a hospital system as a CNS as you are with a MSNEd? What certs are still available for CNS? I heard the peds cert is no more. I know AACN still has some certs. And how do you go about finding a good school?
    And do any CNSs still work at the bedside? Being that it is an APRN role, does it assume the same (potential) risk when working at the bedside as if you were an NP who worked also as a bedside RN?
    I'm a bedside RN, not a CNS, but I too am very interested in CNS. As for employability, I think this is very dependent on state and specific hospital/area. My own hospital doesn't seem to have too many CNSs. The oncology specialty hospital in the city has dozens. My state doesn't have prescribing privileges for CNSs, however I'm not necessarily interesting in that if I go the CNS route in the future.

    The CNSs I know are all in APRN roles, providing expert nursing advice, education, committees, and support to the staff and patients on complex cases. None I know work at the bedside.

    Ultimately I think the feasibility of the CNS comes down to your local practice environment.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Agree with you Mursejj.

    I'm in IL where CNS = NP as to scope of practice.

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