Clinical Nurse Specialists are Master's Degree prepared advanced practice Registered Nurses in roles
characterized by the following responsibilities: 1) provide care for patients with multiple or complex health
needs within a specific clinical area; 2) use advanced clinical skills in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment
and evaluation of patients; 3) use theoretical and clinical expertise to assist health care providers and patients
in promoting or achieving optimal health; 4) develop and implement standards of nursing practice; 5) serve as
a consultant or expert resource person for other health providers; 6) facilitate an interdisciplinary and
collaborative approach to meeting the needs of patients; 7) seek consultations and make referrals as needed;
and 8) promote research to improve clinical nursing practice. Clinical Nurse Specialists assess, plan, provide
and evaluate specialized nursing care of patients by advancing the quality and scope of nursing practice
through clinical practice, education, research, consultation, and administrative roles in the area of clinical
expertise (e.g., diabetes, cardiology, respiratory, pediatrics, etc.) for a specified patient population.
From: National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists. (2004).
Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education
, p 13.
This model describes the CNS’s practice competencies within three spheres of influence: the patient/client, nursing and nursing practice, and the organization/system sphere with the patient being the most important sphere. The CNS’s clinical expertise spawns from competencies inherent within a specialty of nursing practice and are used to address nursing issues within the patient/client, nursing and nursing practice, and the organization/system spheres. The essential roles of the CNS: expert clinician, interdisciplinary consultant, educator, researcher, and leader help to 1) direct specialty knowledge and skill acquisition, 2) shape core competencies of clinical practice, 3) promote evidence-based outcome-guided nursing care, 4) integrate quality patient care across SHC practice sites, 5) promote promoting an environment of mentoring and system change that empower the nurse to experience professional growth and development.
Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and
abilities as well as possession of any required licenses or certifications is qualifying.
Education: Master's degree in a work-related discipline/field from an accredited college or university
Experience: Three (3) years of progressively responsible and directly related work experience
License/Certification: CA Registered Nurse (RN)
License/Certification: CNS - Clinical Nurse Specialist
Clinical Oncology experience required.
Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
Ability to conduct research, document results, draw conclusions and make recommendations
Ability to develop and perform patient assessment and plan of care
Ability to identify competency-based education needs of and implement educational programs for staff
Ability to perform patient assessment and triage
Ability to provide consultation to physicians, nurses and other health care providers in meeting care needs of
Ability to provide direct evaluation and consultation to patients
Knowledge of advanced clinical practice education, consultation, research, and administration
Knowledge of clinical operations, workflow and procedures
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services including customer
needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction
Knowledge of the principles, practices and objectives as well as issues and developments in the field of
nursing, especially as applied to the area of nursing specialty
Skill: Advanced nursing skills in area of specialty
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