My hospital has CNS's

"Duck Pond" Bob Collins with (l,r) med-surg and critical care CNS's

Your hospital probably already has Clinical Nurse Specialists, but we haven't until recently. I think our geographic area is low in advanced practice nurses and nurses with professional certifications because we are a long ways from centers of higher ed for nursing. Anyhow, we have two CNS's now, for med-surg (Carrie Howard-Canning, CNS) and critical care (Kathleen Carey, CNS). They've been working for maybe a year or so now, but our local newspaper is just getting around to recognizing them in today's edition...
Howard-Canning and Carey are the first inpatient clinical nurse specialists at CVPH and in northern New York. Elli Collins of the hospital's FitzPatrick Cancer Center has practiced as an outpatient clinical nurse specialist for about a decade.

There are approximately 67,000 clinical nurse specialists across the nation, but the specially trained RNs are scarce in the North Country.

The concept is relatively common in metropolitan settings but is only now catching on in more rural areas, she noted.

"We have five nurses currently enrolled in advanced nursing programs."

Both nurses credit associate vice president of Patient Services Julie Brunell for their decision to continue their education; she recently earned her Ph.D. in nursing.

As clinical nurse specialists, Howard-Canning and Carey spend a great deal of their day on the patient floors, sharing their knowledge with nurses and working with the patient-care team to provide treatment methods based on proven techniques.


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