Adult/Gerontological Nursing CNS Option

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with graduate degrees in a clinical specialty.*  CNSs function within and across healthcare settings - from primary prevention to palliative care and everything in between. 

Practicing independently and/or collaboratively they have the skills and competencies to meet the needs of a reformed healthcare system, including improving the quality and safety of care, eliminating unnecessary care, improving the care for those with chronic illnesses and reducing the costs of care. 

They are leaders of teams in acute care and other facilities to improve the quality and safety of care, developers of programs to prevent avoidable complications, coaches of those with chronic diseases to prevent hospital readmissions and researchers seeking evidence-based interventions to improve the outcomes of care.

Specifically, a CNS can:

  • Deliver and facilitate expert care to patients, families, and groups within and across settings
  • Provide effective system-based leadership for evidence-based practice and policy changes
  • Improve health and quality-of-life by enhancing collaborative patient-centered primary, acute, and chronic care
  • Develop innovative practice solutions within and across the continuum of care
  • Enhance quality and safety of healthcare while reducing costs for patients, clinicians, and systems
  • Support interprofessional ethical decision-making and advocacy to improve care for individuals and communities

*Adapted in part from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists and the 2010 AACN Adult-Gero CNS Competencies