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A Spotlight on Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical Nurse Specialists

A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), a role that was established at the end of World War II, is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who has a graduate preparation in nursing. CNS providers are trained in pharmacology, physical assessment and physiology, in addition to their area of specialty. The CNS specialties are focused on individuals, populations, types of medical problems, types of care, or diagnostic systems subspecialty. CNS providers also develop and implement interventions that reduce the incidence of complications in hospitalized patients, which reduces hospital costs and length of stays, increase patient satisfaction with the care they receive, and reduce hospital readmissions.

There are approximately 72,000 CNS providers working in the United States and Canada today, according to ExploreHealthCareers. These CNS providers work in private practices, nursing homes, corporations and prisons, but the majority work in inpatient hospital settings. The demand for CNS providers has grown over 30% since 2012 and according to a survey done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CNS providers are satisfied with their profession, with 91% being moderately or extremely satisfied.

A review of state laws by the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) reveals that since 2010, eight states have granted CNS providers the authority to practice without a physician's supervision, and six have given CNS providers independent authority to prescribe medications and durable medical equipment. CNS providers are now able to practice independently in 28 states and prescribe independently in 19.

CNS providers can make a bigger difference in improving healthcare if more people understood the value, expertise and skills a Clinical Nurse Specialist can bring to a healthcare practice, which now includes being eligible to become a certified Medical Examiner in Texas, Minnesota, and Missouri. We welcome the CNS providers in these states, and all other eligible medical providers nationwide, to contact us for a discounted rate to enroll in our program to become a certified Medical Examiner.

Click here to enroll in the NRCME Training Institute program to become a certified Medical Examiner or click here to purchase our proprietary Additional Reference study materials to help those providers who completed another program be better prepared to sit for the national NRCME exam.
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