what kind of masters program to become a CNS?

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    Hi, I am researching the online rn to MSN DEGREE OPTIONS AND WAS WONDERING WHICH ONES WOULD LEAD TO ME WORKING AS A CNS SOMEDAY AT A HSPITAL. I am looking at Uniersity of phoenix, and chamberlain and their MSN offers an educator track, or an executive trak, but not one that says specifically CNS track. Will I be able to work as a CNS if I finish one of those tracks above or do I need to find a school offring the CNS track specifically?
    My teacher said I can as long as I have any MSN but just wanted to be sure.
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Some employers use the title "clinical nurse specialist" for positions that don't necessarily require someone specifically eduacted as a CNS, but that's kind of cheating. You're not really a CNS, and you can't be nationally certified as a CNS (which many employers require), unless you completed a formal CNS graduate program. That's how you become a CNS.

    When you say your "teacher" said you can "as long as (I) have any MSN", do you mean someone at UoP or Chamberlain who is advising you? You will not be a real CNS without completing a CNS-concentration Master's, although there are some cheesy employers who will throw around the title.

    For heaven's sake, if you want to be a CNS, do it right.
  4. 0
    As elkpark said, you can't get certified as a CNS unless you graduate from a CNS program. However, as you have also discovered, there are a lot of jobs out there that are "like a CNS" that don't require CNS certification. And many of those jobs are not at all "cheesy." (Elpark and I are friends, so don't think I am picking a fight with her.)

    The CNS role -- and the preparation for it -- has evolved over the years in ways that are not consistent across the country and that have created somewhat of a mess for people like you. A lot of the educational programs preparing CNS's have closed and it's just gotten confusing and messy ... with different CNS role descriptions in different states, etc. Someone wanting to be a CNS may find it both confusing and exceptionally difficult to find a suitable education program in their area.

    Some employers have simply thrown up their hands and eliminated the "CNS" job title to avoid the mess -- and created jobs with different titles that incorporate the functions that CNS's used to do. Some of those roles are in the Staff Development Department. Some of those roles may have the title "Project Coordinator" or "Program Coordinator" signifying that the person coordinates a certain program or aspect of care but is not the director of a department of employees and therefore not a "manager" in that sense.

    Those roles are what your faculty member was referring to.
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    Haitianrn - I gather you are in Haiti now trying to get this education? Here in the states, there should be some clearcut educational programs that specifically list what degree they confer along with the track, such as NP, CNS, CNL, etc..
  6. 0
    Quote from llg
    And many of those jobs are not at all "cheesy." (Elpark and I are friends, so don't think I am picking a fight with her.)
    Please, llg, I didn't say any jobs were cheesy -- I said employers using the CNS title in a generic sense for non-CNS positions (exactly the opposite of what you describe) were cheesy ...
  7. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    Please, llg, I didn't say any jobs were cheesy -- I said employers using the CNS title in a generic sense for non-CNS positions (exactly the opposite of what you describe) were cheesy ...
    OK OK OK. As someone who works in one of those jobs, I had to stick up for them. However, we don't use the CNS title. We give those jobs another title. We just function as if we were certified CNS's.
  8. 0
    Quote from llg
    OK OK OK. As someone who works in one of those jobs, I had to stick up for them. However, we don't use the CNS title. We give those jobs another title. We just function as if we were certified CNS's.
    I have no disagreement or problem with the kind of scenario you described. What frosts my cookies is when an employer will use the title "clinical nurse specialist" to refer to anyone who is working away from the bedside, or anyone who is a senior staff nurse, or something like that -- throwing around the specific title (which refers to a specific, defined set of education, credentials, and skills) like it's just a generic term for "experienced RN" (and there are some places that do stuff like that ...)
  9. 0
    I have seen CNS jobs, advertised as such, that were then filled by non-CNS nurses.

    However, I have only seen that in the setting of educator, project manager, etc..

    I am (just now) dually degreed as a CNS in adult health and peds but fill an APN role which makes it a little easier to distinguish the APN role from some ambiguous ones like those listed above.
  10. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    I have no disagreement or problem with the kind of scenario you described. What frosts my cookies is when an employer will use the title "clinical nurse specialist" to refer to anyone who is working away from the bedside, or anyone who is a senior staff nurse, or something like that -- throwing around the specific title (which refers to a specific, defined set of education, credentials, and skills) like it's just a generic term for "experienced RN" (and there are some places that do stuff like that ...)
    There are definitely places (or states) that allow that. I find that it is more of a "loophole" issue in those states. When a specific state does not have legislation that provides title protection to the clinical nurse specialist role and does not provide recognition to the role by granting state certification, healthcare facilities can throw the title and role around loosely and call anyone a CNS based on random qualifications set by individual employers.


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