What is a Clinical Nurse Specialist?

  1. Hi Everyone. I have been searching through websites for entry level MSN and FNP programs. I see some programs that say you can study to be an FNP and that you would then be qualified to be a Clinical Nurse Specialist. I thought that they were two separate things.

    I already know what an FNP does but can someone tell me what does a Clinical Nurse Specialist do? Are there any of you on this board? What is your typical day like?

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    About CA-FNPtobe

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 7


  3. by   Genista
    I am not a clinical nurse specialist, but here is some more info for you:

  4. by   CA-FNPtobe
    Thanks, kona2. It sounds interesting. If anyone is out there who is a CNS, I'd appreciate an example of what your day at work looks like.
  5. by   NurseRachet
    I am a Clinical Specialist. In my state, I enrolled in the Nurse Practioner Program. I finished with a Master of Science. It depends on meeting the requirements for the NP Program. I chose to take classes that pertained to management versus clinical side. If I had signed up and passed the Pharmaceutical and Adult Clinical Assessment class AND taken the NP Certification Examination...I would be a NP. Since I did not chose that route, I graduated with a MSN degree and continue in my management role. I am often contacted by young RN's seeking my advice with clinical issues. This is my role and I love it.
  6. by   llg
    I've spent most of my career as a CNS in several different hosptials. The actual job duties vary a little from position to position -- but the focus is usually on helping the staff nurses to provide the best care possible rather than providing primary care to patients and/or serving in a physician-extender role. The CNS role often involves some of the following specific activities:

    1. Assuring that the latest practice advances get implemented in your hospital (researching them, creating policies, educating staff, etc.) Upgrading the care given in your department.
    2. Establishing new programs and/or policies.
    3. Staff development
    4. Serving as a consultant to the staff to help them solve particularly challenging clinical problems
    5. Working with staff members who need a little extra education/mentoring to help them "make it" on that unit
    6. Assisting the management team to be sure that the department is in compliance with all regulations, codes, standards, etc.
    7. Coordinating (initiating, participating in) any research being done in the department.

    The above list was just off the top of my head. It's kind'a a "jack of all trades" advanced resource for a unit/hospital to have. One thing it is usually not is the same thing every day. The CNS is there to address whatever comes up and to help meet whatever needs that arise -- whether they be clinical, educational, research, or a little on the management side. It's rarely boring or routine.