As a result of a self-assessment and reflections on practice P. Ryan came up with improvements and recommendations of the CNS role. One important recommendation was to “ensure that the CNS role has supernumerary status. This would mean that the CNS would no longer be expected to work as a staff nurse on the unit.” (Ryan & Doody, 2014, p 29).
This was one of the most important aspects that needed to be addressed first. Another article addressed a review of CNS productivity. “Reviews of CNS roles over the past few years have tended to focus on their qualitative contribution to holistic patient care (Norton et al, 2012), which has done little to define their quantitative financial contributions, such as through admission avoidance and reduced length of stay.” (Balsdon & Wilkinson, 2014, p. 33). According to Balsdon & Wilkinson CNS’s have difficulties in delineating what they do.
“A census of cancer nurse specialist, for example, revealed that not only those outside the profession, but also some nurse leaders found it difficult to identify the functions of the CNS role (Leary, 2011, Vidal et al, 2011, Norton et al, 2012).” (Balsdon & Wilkinson, 2014, p. 33). Balsdon & Wilkinson also mention that CNS’s have regularly defined their own programs for the jobs that they are required to perform. It is evident that a job description along with core competencies are essential for a CNS role. The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialist (NACNS) have 75 core competencies that are essential for CNS’s.
“A few gaps were identified between CNS core competencies and CNS role expectations in current practice.” (Baldwin, Clark, Fulton, & Mayo, 2009, p. 193). Core competencies from the NACNS are well founded from the view of . .cialist endures.
As nurses we work long hours, deal with difficult patients and families, advocate on their behalf to the doctors and the interdisciplinary team, tend to a family at home with its own dilemmas, and still smile and say we “love our job.” Then wake up the next day to do it again. Nurses, CNS’s along with advanced practitioners are an essential part of nursing. So we have stipulated that a CNS has a job description that states what their core responsibilities are, there are added job responsibilities that are not clearly stated, and it is a position that has evolved and is still evolving today. It is a position of leadership and mentorship. There are attributes from research and evidence based that clearly affects the patient, family, community and the hospital.
Overall being a CNS is a prestigious job that has many obligations to deal with.