The role of the oncology clinical nurse specialist (OCNS) is often misunderstood. The purpose of this article is to help staff nurses, nursing administrators, and other master's-prepared nurses understand the role and use of the OCNS in a community hospital setting. The authors' educational preparations and clinical experiences are similar; however, their work situations and degrees of institutional support are different. The article describes what a CNS is, as defined by the literature, and how the role developed in the respective hospitals. Similarities and differences in role implementation are discussed, as well as recommendations for appropriate use of the OCNS for the present and future.
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