The Evolving Scope of Working as a CNS: A Complete Overview

The Evolving Scope of Working as a CNS: A Complete Overview

Working as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), you may be seeing a patient one day, and the next day, you’ll be helping to develop office policies and procedures—or serving as a nursing staff consultant. In other words, the CNS has a multi-faceted role in healthcare. It’s also a role that has gradually changed over the years. Join us as we explore the evolving scope of working as a CNS.

Understanding Clinical Nurse Specialists

Essentially, a CNS is a nurse who has completed a master’s, doctoral, or postgraduate certificate-level clinical nurse specialist program. Basically, working as a CNS entails clinical practice, teaching, research, management, and consulting.

Evolution of CNS in Nursing

Shifting Paradigms – How the Role of CNS Has Changed Over Time: The contemporary role of working as a CNS has evolved to include roles as expert resources for nurses who focus on patient care. CNS is called upon to serve as researchers in their specialties, consultants to improve healthcare delivery, and nurse educators.

Adaptation to Technological Advances – Integrating Technology in CNS Practices: New technologies are also impacting how the CNS performs their roles. Learning curves notwithstanding, such technological advances generally benefit providers as well as patients in terms of better communication among care teams. These include streamlined patient record access and routine task automation.

Technological innovations such as predictive analytics and clinical mobility through handheld digital devices have also changed the way CNS jobs are performed. Other developments include mobile robotic systems, artificial intelligence for clinical decision support, remote patient monitoring and telehealth services.

Owing to these innovations, CNS nurse jobs now also call for you to demonstrate new equipment and technology to team members.

Expanding the Scope of Practice – Addressing Diverse Healthcare Needs: While the scope of working as a CNS varies by state, it has expanded over time. In addition to assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients in the general population, many of these nurses now focus specifically on vulnerable populations, such as women, children, and patients who have complex situations or needs.

Other areas of focus can be based on setting (long-term care, emergency department, etc.), specific disease, problem type (pain, stress, wounds), or care type (rehabilitation, psychiatric, hospice, etc.). CNS jobs also increasingly entail working as researchers, educators, or managers.

The Impact of CNS on Healthcare

Enhanced Patient Care – Detailing Contributions to Patient Outcomes: According to the World Health Organization, the CNS has contributed to better patient outcomes by providing better-quality care, improving population health, and reducing healthcare costs.

Collaborative Approach – Working with Interdisciplinary Teams: The evolving role of CNS jobs, which includes more emphasis on complex patient cases, has resulted in more collaboration across multidisciplinary teams. Providers from various disciplines often work with the nurses to deliver optimal care and improve outcomes. You’ll need top-shelf communication and social skills when working as a CNS.

Improving Healthcare Systems – Contributions to Policy and Quality Improvement: Clinical nurse specialists are not only qualified to provide care for patients with complex conditions, but they also have the skills to improve care for whole populations with complicated needs. As such, they have the knowledge and experience to contribute to the establishment of professional policies. Healthcare systems that make optimal use of these advanced registered nurse roles tend to offer better quality care, resulting in more positive patient outcomes.

Education and Training for CNS Jobs

CNS jobs require formal education, licensing, and board certification requirements. Education must be at the graduate or postgraduate level from an accredited nursing program, where you develop basic core care delivery competencies from acute care to wellness.

Before you can begin working as a CNS you also must be certified by a nationally accredited professional organization. Additionally, certain practice components are determined by state licensing boards, which are governed by the statutes and regulations of each state.

Advance Your Career With Wanderly

Wanderly’s chief purpose is to help you secure the best traveling CNS jobs available. There are a number of benefits to working as a CNS on a traveling basis. In addition to the wide variety of locales, you’ll experience many different styles, facilities, and patient types. It will serve your career in many different ways, including enhancing your value as a CNS professional. Sign up today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How do CNS jobs differ from those of registered nurses?

To hold CNS jobs, one must be an RN first. However, working as a CNS, you’ll be more focused on research and administration. The CNS serves as a leader to help team members adhere to—and implement—best practices.

  1. How much do CNS jobs pay?

The pay range for CNS jobs is between about $62,000 and $119,000. There are variances depending upon the state in which you work, as well as facility type.

  1. Is working as a CNS a highly sought-after role?

Indeed, working as a CNS is. Amid a resurgence of the role in the U.S., there are ever-increasing opportunities for people to fill CNS jobs to meet the unmet need.

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