CNS vs NP

  1. What are the differences between the two? Any info. is helpful.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    From what I see the CNS is geared toward the system, education, advising managers, etc., and the NP is geared toward the individual patient, treating, diagnosis,and prescribing.

    I also see where CNSs are being downsized out of jobs in several places. I see where several advanced nurse practitioner schools are offering tracks which combine the CNS and NP into one degree where you can take either or both exams.


    http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin/tpc1/tpc1_4.htm
  4. by   WashYaHands
    Both the NP and CNS have the following roles: clinician (practitioner), educator, collaborator/consultant/change agent, researcher, advocate. The roles may be given different titles, but the functions are basically the same. The difference between the NP and CNS rests on how these roles are enacted. The NP has a central role of clinician and the other roles are secondary. The NP performs all roles, but the role of clinician/practitioner is central to the NP practice. NP's are primary health care providers who diagnose illness, order, conduct, and interpret diagnostic and lab tests, prescribe medications (if authorized) and treatments. They provide health teaching and counsel patients.

    The CNS uses the same roles, however, each role has the same level of importance and the practice involves focusing on one or more roles at the same time. For the CNS there is no role that more central to the others.

    The topic of combining the 2 or keeping them separate is a hot topic in advance practice nursing. Some say the functions are more similar than different and the CNS and NP roles should be combined. Others hold that the functions are different and the CNS and NP roles should be kept separate.

    This is just a brief explanation, some nurses have done entire dissertations on this topic.

    http://www.nacns.org
    http://www.aanp.org
  5. by   Irishcreme
    Ok I understand now thankyou both for answering.
  6. by   panda_181
    I just have a quick question...I'm Canadian and the abbreviations in these postings are always confusing me. What is NP and what is CNS? Thanks for your help!

    Amanda
  7. by   P_RN
    Sorry...

    NP=Nurse Practitioner

    CNS=Clinical Nurse Specialist


    Do they have these in Ca?
  8. by   panda_181
    I'm sure they have them in Canada, but I'm still a student and wouldn't know the equivalent for each...what do their jobs entail?

    Amanda
  9. by   Teshiee
    I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY GIVE 2 SEPARATE NAMES FOR A JOB THAT IS VIRTUALLY THE SAME? SO MUCH CONFUSION !!!!!! I THOUGHT THE DIFFERENCE WAS THAT THE NP FOCUSES ON DIAGNOSING TREATMENT ETC. AND THE CLINICAL SPECIALIST IS MORE TEACHING ON A CLINICAL LEVEL! SO FUSING THE TWO PROFESSIONS SHOULDN'T EVEN BE A TOPIC. JUST DO IT SO AN UP AND COMING NURSE WHO WISH TO PRACTICE ADVANCE NURSING HE OR SHE IS NOT AT A WITS END TO WHAT TO APPLY FOR.
  10. by   Mijourney
    Hi. I thought that P_RN and Wash gave some good distinctions between CNS and NP. I know there is overlap in areas like research and education.

    However, I've never been in a situation in a doctor's office or clinic where a nurse physician extender was a CNS. I've only found NPs as physician extenders. All the midwives I know of in my area are NPs.

    The nurses I know that got their CNS are in research and staff coordination. I don't know of any CNS that serve as physician extenders. I don't believe that nurses who are CNS can prescribe treatment like medications. Can anyone verify this?
  11. by   WashYaHands
    CNS practice varies from state to state depending on the state board of nursing regulations and statutes. Some states allow CNS practice, others do not. Some provide protection of the title, others do not. Some incorporate a specific scope of practice into their practice acts, some do not. Those states that authorize CNS practice vary in their methods of authorization, either by registration, certification, licensure, approval, or recognition. Some states do allow prescriptive authority as long as the CNS completes the same requirements as any other prescriber. For example in Colorado, the CNS must complete advanced pharmacology education, practice 1800 hours post graduation in the area of their specialty and have a collaborative agreement with a physician (requirements are the same for the CNS and NP). Some states authorize CNS practice, but require both the NP and CNS to use the same title, such as Avanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) or Advanced Practice Nurse (APN), or Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber (APNP).
    I recently did a presentation on these topics and created an easy reference chart for my audience. If you'd like a copy of the chart. Send me a personal message with your email address and I'll send it to you.

    Linda

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CNS vs NP