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AACN Clinical Issues: Advanced Practice in Acute & Critical Care:
Work Environment

The Role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Creating a Healthy Work Environment

Disch, Joanne RN, PhD, FAAN; Walton, Mary RN, MSN; Barnsteiner, Jane RN, PhD, FAAN

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The clinical nurse specialist (CNS) contributes to a healthy work environment through partnerships with the nursing staff, nurse manager, physicians, and other colleagues across the health system. Examples of these partnerships are described in this article, highlighting how the work of the CNS influences the care that patients and families receive, shapes the practice environment, and fosters collegial and respectful relationships among caregivers. The CNS is a pivotal figure in creating an environment where nurses can provide the care that is needed and feel valued for their work. Partnership with a variety of clinicians enables the CNS to influence critical care nursing practice, the intensive care unit team, and the environment in which care is provided.

© Copyright 2001 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses


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