Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : Strategies for the Advanced Practice Nurse
Clinical Nurse Specialist/Advanced Clinical Nurse Orientation Program
Linda Marie Hoke, PhD, RN, APN-BC, CCNS1, Anne Muller, RN, MSN, CNS, NP2, and Robyn Strauss, APRN, BC, MSN, CVN, WCC2. (1) Translation Nursing, Evidence Based Practice, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA, (2) Surgical Nursing, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Phila, PA, USA
Learning Objective #1: develop a program to facilitate the expert clinical nurse into the role of the Advanced Clinical Nurse (ACN).
Learning Objective #2: integrate the unique role characteristics of the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) with the organizational objectives as measured by unit specific outcomes.

Challenges related to recruitment of academically qualified nurses for the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) role, and retention of nurses who are committed to expanding their depth and breath of knowledge, prompted strategies for implementing a mentoring program for advanced clinical nurses who expressed interest in advancing to the CNS role. Interested clinical nurses would be designated by the title of Advanced Clinical Nurse (ACN).  As we cultivated those currently employed nurses in graduate study, we demonstrated a commitment to the individual as they transition from ACN to CNS. Concomitantly, the task force planned for CNSs new to the institution to be mentored and supported in a comprehensive orientation program. Both groups would benefit from this supportive professional development program.

The co-chairs of CNS group, in collaboration with Clinician Educators, and senior leadership established a process to facilitate the development of the advanced clinical nurse into the CNS role.  In creating the CNS role, the group distinguished competencies unique to the ACN in the process of obtaining their masters degree and the graduated master prepared CNS.  The CNS role was integrated with the organizational and nursing objectives, linking the contribution of the CNS with unit specific outcome measures from data sources, such as nurse sensitive outcomes from the National Quality Foundation and National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators.   This resulted in a comprehensive orientation program for all new CNSs and ACNs. 

 The components of the program include:

CNS Comprehensive Competency Program,  details the four domains of the CNS role. The ACN has a similar competency program with different performance criteria.

 CNS Score Card, provides the CNS/ACN with monthly measurable outcomes.

 Orientation Plan, establishes a process for the CNS/ACN to meet with their mentor partner and introduces them to collaborative partners.