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Enhancing Patient Education Through Clinical Nurse Specialist Collaboration

Chick, Katherine MS, RN, ACNS-BC; Negley, Kristin MS, RN, ACNS-BC, AOCNS; Sievers, Beth MS, RN, ACNS-BC; Tammel, Karyl MS, RN, ACNS-BC

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e31826e3f12
Feature Article

Purpose: The purpose of this article was to describe a collaborative clinical nurse specialist (CNS) project to enhance the patient education provided by registered nurses across 7 medical nursing units in an acute care hospital.

Background: Electronic data reviews assisted the medical CNSs with identifying a deficit in using appropriate education plans and documentation of patient education.

Description of the Project: The interventions implemented included the creation of new patient education brochures, updating the electronic system to enhance nurses’ ability to provide patient education materials and to simplify documentation, creating a video-on-demand education channel, and ensuring that patient education materials were easily accessible.

Outcome: Postassessment results showed that nurses’ reported use of disease-specific education plan increased 33%. The staff’s perception of the importance of documenting patient education provided also increased 9%.

Conclusion: This project demonstrates CNSs’ ability to design, develop, and implement a systematic and structured process to promote a consistent way for medical nurses to utilize the best disease-specific patient education resources.

Implications: With hospital stays being shorter and patients more acutely ill, partnering with the patients in learning how to manage their care as they transition from the hospital to home is key to help prevent hospital readmissions.

Author Affiliations: Clinical Nurse Specialists, Saint Marys Campus, Mayo Clinic.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Kristin Negley, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, AOCNS or Beth Sievers, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.