Role Of The Clinical Nurse Specialist Essay

Role Of The Clinical Nurse Specialist Essay

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During my clinical practicum hours at Fresno Surgical Hospital (FSH) with my preceptor, Heidi Honeycutt, I have gained a better understanding of the role of the clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Although all of the roles of the CNS are important, to be an effective and competent advanced practice nurse (APN), a CNS must have strong leadership skills. Leadership in a CNS role includes the ability to perform clinical research, guide change, model behaviors that lead to best patient outcomes, and develop trusting relationships with staff and patients in order to promote the facilitation of learning and communication. My preceptor has the knowledge and theoretical framework to accomplish the CNS role on a day-to-day basis, but what sets her apart and makes her a competent APN are her strong leadership skills. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the role of the CNS as a leader and how having a better understanding of this role contributes to my professional and personal growth.
According to Hamric, Spross, and Hanson (2009), the role of the CNS was first developed to “(1) direct patient care to patients with complex diseases or conditions, (2) to improve patient care by developing the clinical skills and judgement of staff nurses and, (3) to retain nurses who are experts in clinical practice” (p. 349). While these functions still remain the foundation of the CNS role, APNs also have the vital role of modeling clinical behaviors, developing and maintain trusting relationships with the clinical team, and being an effective leader. My preceptor’s leadership skills can be clearly observed through the interactions she has with the clinical staff on her unit, even after stepping down from the CNS position. When discussing how to build...


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...tors leadership skills allowed me to gain valuable insight in the importance of understanding a leadership role before attempting to lead. Before I can lead I need to build trust and before I can build trust I have to show staff that I value their work and what they bring to the facility. If I were in the same situation again, I would like to observe the CNS’s leadership role as an interdisciplinary team member and how the CNS leads staff from other departments. For the most part, I saw how my CNS interacted with the inpatient service nurses and sometimes with the post-anesthesia care unit nurses, but I know nurses from other departments would also come to her for help with facility projects. I learned so much from my preceptor about the CNS role. With her passed down knowledge, theoretical foundations, and clinical skills, I will be able to develop my role as a CNS.

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