Is CNS the way to go?

Specialties CNS


I've been a RN for 10 years working in mostly med/surg, ambulatory surgery centers/endoscopy. I applied to an adult np program and am waiting to hear if I have been accepted but am now wondering if a CNS role would be a better fit for me. My main concern is whether the CNS role will exist and whether there is more flexibility with a NP degree?It seems like everyone and their mother is heading to NP school so is that the way of the future??

I also read on "The CNS certificate is offered by the American Nurse Credentialing Center, and is offered in a variety of specialties. This credential is renewable, but there is talk about discontinuing the Clinical Nurse Specialist certification as early as 2017." Is this true?

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Hi there - I'm both an adult and peds CNS and I personally (my opinion only) do not feel the CNS is a viable option any longer.

The Consensus Model from ANCC has pretty much negated the CNS role. The adult health CNS exam is being retired this year and the peds exam is being retired next year. The psych CNS exam is also on the chopping block.

Here is the link for some good reading: APRN Consensus Model

Explore all your options. Personally (again only my opinion) the CNS is NOT the way to go. I'm actually in an FNP program now myself


162 Posts

Thank you for your feedback TraumaRUS. So is NP then the only way to go? Will that degree offer me the most flexibility? I like the idea of education but I've heard it is hard to get a job in education and the pay is dismal. I'm not interested in management.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

It depends on what you want. I feel the FNP offers me the flexibility I want and need.


2 Articles; 1,406 Posts

Specializes in nursing education.

I just graduated from an AGCNS program. I met with our CNO and inquired about opportunities in the organization in which I'd been employed for 20+ years. She said "we're hiring CNLs now. Maybe you could sit for that exam." Well, I left and am now working as a nursing instructor. Other local health care organizations have strong CNS presence though. See what is being done in your area and within your organization before committing years and dollars.

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