The clinical nurse specialist, it is widely assumed represents a new means for greatly improving the quality of nursing practice and patient care. But can this assumption be validated? How can the value of the clinical specialist be objectively assessed? In an experimental study on the effectiveness of a clinical nurse specialist role in medical-surgical nursing a first necessity was to formulate a reasonably structured role model-one that would indicate the specialist's professional orientation, functions, rights and obligations, and working relationships with others in the hospital system. Then on the basis of such a model, the above assumption could be properly investigated and empirically tested.
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