Work more with nurses than patients as a CNS?

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    The last few months I've been working as charge on our med-surg floor, usually for a week or two at a time. What I've found is that I like helping out the other nurses, particularly the agency nurses who have never been here before, more than I like answering call lights and dealing with the patients. I also like talking with staffing, admissions, the nursing supervisor, and some of the other administrative types. I like being a resource for other nurses.

    Which has me wondering if I'd be a good choice for a CNS. I already have a generalist MSN, so I'm partway there already. And I've heard that the CNS does serve as a resource for other nurses, and does more in a planning and administrative type of stuff.

    I don't think I'd be happy with a purely educational role, it just seems a little limited. And, at least at our hospital, they're the first to be laid off, even when we're hiring floor RNs. Not sure about being an NP either, it seems like you can be just as buried in patient demands in that role as you can be as a floor RN.

    It could be that I'm just tired of working the night shift in med-surg at this dump that I work at. But it could be that being a floor RN simply isn't a good choice for me.

    People who have been on the APN forums before will probably remember me...and perhaps wonder, "Hasn't this guy made a decision on an APN role yet? He's been talking about it for the last 2 years!"
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Yes, I remember you.

    I've always thought you were well-suited to a CNS role.
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from llg
    Yes, I remember you.

    I've always thought you were well-suited to a CNS role.
    That's good. I just wanted to make sure the role was what I thought.

    And, of course, that there are jobs for them (though here in IL the CNS/NP overlaps).

    Then I just have to figure out how to pay for it and find the time for it.
  6. 1
    Dropping in to wish you luck on the CNS track.

    It looks like an interesting job description from a recent article
    that I saw. I emailed the NACNS with a few questions, and never
    heard back... Maybe I asked the wrong questions.

    Anyway, please keep us posted on your progress!
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  7. 1
    Joe - good luck - I wondered how you were doing.

    The school here in Peoria that I went to is thinking about getting rid of the CNS programs and doing FNP. In my area, that is marketable.

    Does Chicago use both CNS and NP?
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Joe - good luck - I wondered how you were doing.

    The school here in Peoria that I went to is thinking about getting rid of the CNS programs and doing FNP. In my area, that is marketable.

    Does Chicago use both CNS and NP?
    I'm not sure. I know that there are CNS programs in this area...I believe both UIC and Rush offer them. But I'm not sure how many CNS positions there are.

    Which makes me wonder if I could do some of this stuff with an NP position. The two positions overlap in this state.
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    Have you considered clinical nurse leader? From what I've read, it seems intriguing; not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but worth checking out.

    Here is a comparison of CNL vs. CNS: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/CNL/pdf/CNSComparisonTable.pdf
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  10. 1
    Joe NightingMale, I don't know who you are, but your original post pretty much sums up exactly where I am. I'm glad to know there are others in a similar situation, hopefully we can all work through this to find the best path. While I earned my ADN in 09, I have a BA in biology from 98. I have been gaining experience in a Med/surg. unit and occasionally floating to a couple of other areas all the while trying to figure out my next educational move and exactly what I want to do. I enjoy the patient side of things, but I believe I would enjoy being the point of information for other healthcare staff. While I see a great value to the NP role, I'm just not sure if that is the role for me. I've been working on gathering information on CNS or CNL roles and the job market for those in southern Illinois.
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  11. 1
    Another role you guys might want to explore is that of staff development. Some of those roles are a little boring -- teaching the same orientation classes over and over again, teaching BCLS, OSHA training, etc. But some of those roles (particularly those that require MSN's) sometimes include more variety, serving as a resource to staff, implementing new programs, etc.

    My hospital combines the traditional CSN role with a staff development role. Each department has a full time MSN prepared nurse who supports both practice and education. Most units also have a BSN-prepared part time educator who helps out with some of the routine staff education.

    I used to be a CNS, but am now in Nursing Professional Development. The pay is good and the hours are great and flexible.
    Joe NightingMale likes this.


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