Overall, and perhaps a little reductive to start off with, a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is a registered nurse that not only excels in their care for patients, but also has gone above and beyond in academia as well. A clinical nurse specialist is a nurse that strives to help other nurses and, maybe more importantly, strives to improve the pedagogy of a nurse’s education.
A Nurse’s Education
When wondering what a nursing student learns some of the obvious answers that pop will be things like how to spot an illness, or what gadgets do what, or what medicine to take. And while this is still a crucial part of the process, a lot of it also comes down to dealing with shades of gray. Another facet of a CNS is guiding students through murky ethical quandaries, according to the American Nurses Association.
Why CNSs Are So Important
Of the many reasons a CNS is so important the least of which is the future. With more and more Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, people are expecting more and more educated nurses. Ideally, this would create a positive domino effect where the certified get trained by the more certified, and so on and so forth. Clinical nurse specialists are trying to create a future that is so finely tuned and so thoroughly dissected that not one idea or concept or practice is left unexamined.
What a CNS Doesn’t Do
Well, for starters, a clinical nurse specialist rarely is allowed to prescribe any form of medication. While they may be more than qualified to diagnose someone, this is largely not their responsibility. They also rarely work in private. Their home is a busy bustling hospital where they have to keep their eye on large staffs of younger, lesser qualified nurses, according to the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.
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In The Midst of It All
The key aspect of a Clinical Nurse Specialist is the fact that they are there in the hospital getting dirty with everyone else. Since they have this front line view, they better understand what nurses are facing and what they’re dealing with on a day to day basic. Because of this better understanding, they can take better research and employ more learned evidence-based solutions. In this way, they get to act like a supervisor as well as a guinea pig for the new processes and executions. A CNS is nothing to balk at. How many times have you wanted to tell your teacher to do their own homework? This process also leads to a natural camaraderie and, then, to a better chemistry between student and instructor. A CNS is crucial to the group moral.
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A clinical nurse specialist is an instructor who is not only very educated, but strives to change her students as well as the pedagogy behind it. They work hard and fast in busy hospitals so they can have a firsthand understanding of what their nurses are going through and where their questions and concerns are coming from. They educate in matters of science as well as matters of ethics. A clinical nurse specialist is an invaluable asset to any hospital and to any nursing staff.