Currently, orientation for clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in the Baltimore region is based on past practices: facility-specific or position-specific. A Chesapeake Bay affiliate work group identified a need to develop a theory-driven, competency-based program and tool to guide orientation and ongoing professional development reflecting the scope of CNS practice.
Description of the Project/Program:
The tool incorporates Benner’s concepts of novice-to-expert competence levels, guides progressive development of the CNS, and has relevant assessment metrics that highlight contributions to the patient, nurse, and system.
The group developed a comprehensive orientation tool grounded in the spheres of influence and advanced practice competencies and specific, measurable behavioral statements related to competencies from the 2018 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists’ draft. This program is adaptable to guide the practice of a CNS in any facility, validate competence, and relate to those with varied experience in the role.
In a method similar to the process for developing nationally recognized educational standards used to develop the competencies, the program was revised based on an iterative, stepwise process. It was distributed to the membership for evaluation and feedback, which was incorporated into the final version.