Difference in roles between a clinical nurse specialist and an NP

  1. What exactly is the difference between a CNS and NP role? I know someone who is excited because they were able to get their hospital to create a CNS role. My first thought was that the hospital already utilizes NP's so what is the big deal (of course I didn't say that since I didn't want to offend her and I assume there is a difference of which I'm simply not aware).
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   nursemaa
    An NP usually work in places like the ED and physician offices, to evaluate and treat patients. A CNS usually works in nursing departments for the purposes of staff development/education, patient education, research, to assist the staff to develop plans of care for complex patients, overseeing the orientation of new nurses and other clinical activities on the nursing units. Our CNS' are very involved in procedure and protocol development too.
  4. by   suzanne4
    A CNS and a NP are completely two different tracts when attending nursing school for an MSN. They are also two very different roles. An NP is an advanced practitioner and is directly responsible for the care of the patient as the practitioner, not as the "nurse" caring for the patient. Two different roles and two different functions............both are needed, of course...

  5. by   zenman
    Some CNS are also in private practice, particularly psych CNS.
  6. by   elkpark
    In the decade I've been a CNS, I've been primarily in direct clinical practice, and have consulted with/educated nursing staff as a secondary role. There are already threads on this board that talk about the differences between the NP and CNS roles.

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