Background: Both novice and experienced clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) need a consistent orientation to ensure that all in the role have the same knowledge base from an agreed upon set of role expectations.
Purpose: The purpose of this article was to describe an orientation process using the 3 spheres of CNS practice as the framework for a CNS competency validation tool that can be used in all practice specialties and settings. Additionally, the roles of CNS preceptor and CNS mentor are delineated.
Conclusions: The orientation tool based on the spheres of influence provides a thorough and consistent orientation for CNSs and may also be used as an educational tool for leadership and other staff regarding the CNS role.
Author Affiliations: Master's and International Programs, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego (Dr Urden); Intermediate Care Unit, Palomar Medical Center, Escondido (Dr Stacy), California.
Correspondence: Linda D. Urden, DNSc, RN, CNS, NE-BC, FAAN, Master's and International Programs, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110 (firstname.lastname@example.org).