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NACNS Newsletter

President's Message

Chamblee, Tracy, PhD, APRN, PCNS-BC, CPHQ, CPPS

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000451

It is with great humility and tremendous excitement that I take the reins of this fantastic organization! Being selected to lead the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) is both an honor and a responsibility, and I pledge to do my very best to ensure that the next year is one during which NACNS reaches broader audiences and does even more to advance the role of the clinical nurse specialist (CNS). My life’s work is nursing—I have been a nurse for more than 30 years and a CNS for 25 of those years—so I know what a difference we make to health and health systems in this country. I want everyone else to know it too!

Many of you know firsthand that we had a terrific Annual Conference in Orlando in March—one of our largest and most successful ever. We set the tone there for a year that will grow our association, expand our impact, and make us more influential than ever. I am thrilled with our newly elected leaders, introduced at that meeting:

  • President-elect: Sean M. Reed, PhD, APN, ACNS-BC, ACHPN, Palliative Care & Aging Research Fellow, School of Medicine, assistant professor, adjunct, College of Nursing, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus.
  • Secretary/treasurer: Carrie Doyle DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, Providence Alaska Medical Center.
  • Director: Judy Dusek, DNP, MEd, APRN-CNS, CMSRN, ACNS-BC, Consultant, Clinical Professional Development, Clinical Nurse Specialist: Medical-Surgical, Orthopedics, Oncology & Medical Intensive Care Unit, Ascension Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc.
  • Director: Kimberly W. Elgin, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, CMSRN, clinical nurse specialist, Surgical Subspecialties, University of Virginia Health System, and clinical assistant professor of nursing, University of Virginia.
  • Director: Phyllis Whitehead, PhD, APRN, ACHPN, RN-BC, clinical nurse specialist, palliative medicine/pain management, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and associate professor, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

We also gave out well-deserved awards and introduced the first class of CNSI fellows. I congratulate everyone who received either of those honors! Anyone who was not there and did not get to see the powerful videos that took home the prizes in our first-ever video competition can find them on the NACNS website.

Finally, I want to let all of you know that my key areas of focus this year will be optimizing NACNS operations, identifying opportunities to grow our membership, and continuing to leverage partnerships with companies like Medtronic and Abbot Nutrition to grow NACNS and improve member benefits. I also hope to work with all of you to explore what innovation means for NACNS and its members.

We will become a more volunteer-driven association this year, and that means we are counting on you! Please keep an eye out for opportunities to volunteer and step up and be part of our team. We need your input and support! This organization represents the very best that nursing has to offer and we are proud to have you as part of it. Thank you in advance for your support.



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A large crowd, powerful speakers, and opportunities to learn, network, and advance careers made Orlando, Florida, the place to be in early March when the NACNS held its 2019 Annual Conference, A Catalyst for Practice Change: The CNS. The meeting, held at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, was a tremendous success and a memorable experience for everyone who attended. It included exciting, hands-on workshops, engaging lectures by experts, thought-provoking symposia, and multiple poster sessions.

The keynote addresses—by Colonel Danny McKnight (retired US Army) and Joy Longo, PhD, RNC-NIC—were inspiring and educational. Participants enjoyed a variety of high-quality, CNS-specific sessions and hands-on clinical skills-building workshops, including Suturing Skills; Advanced Neuro Assessment Skills; Enteral Feeding Tube Placement; CNS Practice: Setting Up Shop; and So, You Want to Develop Your Innovative Idea into a Business Proposal.

The meeting provided opportunities for national-level networking with other CNSs, the chance to learn about evidence-based practice in-depth, and more.

A moving, celebratory induction ceremony honored the first class of Fellows of the Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute and there were special events throughout.

“Our 2019 Annual Conference was a fun, fantastic event,” said NACNS President Anne Hysong, MSN, APRN, CCNS, ACNS, whose term ended with this meeting. “It was exciting to see so many old friends and make new ones, and to create some new traditions with our expanded workshop offerings, the establishment of Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute Fellows, and our highly successful preconference.”

Eight awards were bestowed at the Conference:

  • The CNS of the Year award was given to Lori Brittingham, MSN, RN, CNS, ACCNS-N, of Reading Hospital.
  • The Susan B. Davidson Award for extraordinary service to NACNS went to Kathy Baker, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, director, Nursing Research and Scholarship, Texas Christian University Harris School of Nursing.
  • The Brenda Lyon Leadership Award, which recognizes extraordinary leadership in service to NACNS, was given to Lisa Hopp, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and professor, Purdue University Northwest.
  • The CNS Educator of the Year Award was bestowed on Susan Dresser, MSN, APRN-CNS, CCRN, director of the Adult-Gerontology CNS Program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
  • The Researcher of the Year Award was given to Susan B. Fowler, PhD, RN, CNRN, FAHA, nurse scientist, Center for Nursing Research at Orlando Health.
  • The CNS Evidence Based Practice (EBP)/Quality Improvement (QI) of the Year Award—given for the first time—to Maureen Seckel, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCNS, CCRN, FCCM, who serves in the critical care CNS role at Christiana Care Health System.
  • The Preceptor of the Year award was given to Patricia Radovich, PhD, CNS, FCCM.
  • Affiliate of the Year Award was bestowed on the California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

Also at the Conference, clinically oriented pharmacology sessions helped CNSs reach their pharmacology CE requirements and refine their patient care. The NACNS offered a preconference with pharmacy sessions, including Alcohol Withdrawal: Pharmacologic Management; Delirium and Pharmacology: What to Know to Improve Care; and A Model of Expert CNS Practice in Management of Sepsis.

The exhibit hall allowed attendees to explore new opportunities and build relationships with universities, healthcare systems and technology vendors, publishers, and more.

It was a terrific opportunity to network with colleagues and discuss how the CNS is a catalyst for practice change!

Check outwww.NACNS.orgfor information and registration for the NACNS 2020 Annual Conference, celebrating our 25th anniversary, titled Transforming Health Care: Our Past, Our President, and Our Future.



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Clinical nurse specialists bring an incredible value to patients, organizations, and communities. The CNS Institute is highlighting innovative CNS roles, projects, outcomes, and NACNS initiatives (eg, opioid task force) with its new video competition, begun this year!

Entries were required to showcase either the role(s) of the CNS, the value of the CNS, CNS project(s), CNS outcomes, or NACNS initiatives. Maximum length was 5 minutes.

The winners of the first CNSI video competition are the following:

  • First place winner, Lori Brittingham, MS, RN, CNS, ACCNS-N, of Reading Hospital for a video titled The Reading Hospital CNS team: We Won’t Stop
  • First place winner in the Student Category, Student Winner, Lynda Mackin, PhD, AG PCNP-BC, CCNS, GS-C, UCSF School of Nursing, Class of 2019 Adult-Gerontology CNS Students, for a video titled Promoting the CNS Role

Honorable mentions were awarded to CNSs from Penn Medicine and Emory Healthcare.

See all the winning videos on the NACNS website,

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The 116th Congress took office in January, and NACNS is working with the nursing community to promote health through nursing care. A high priority this year is reauthorization of Title VIII workforce development programs, which help meet the country’s need for nursing services by addressing nursing education, practice, recruitment, and retention. The focus of these programs is to address the needs of people living in rural and other underserved communities.

In the last Congress, the House of Representatives reauthorized the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Act of 2017 and affirmatively included CNSs—but the Senate never voted on the bill. So the process will have to begin all over again this year in both chambers of Congress.

The new Congress includes 3 registered nurses, all in the House of Representatives. Registered nurse Lauren Underwood won a seat representing the 14th congressional district in Illinois, and Representatives Karen Bass (CA-37) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) were reelected to their seats.

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The NACNS has planned a phenomenal series of webinars for our members in 2019. Do not miss the next installments of our webinar series:

On May 14, from 1:30 to 2:30 ET, learn about Pharmacologic Management of Post-Extubation Stridor with Andrea Sikora Newsome, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, clinical assistant professor, critical care pharmacist, The University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy; Augusta University Medical Center, Augusta, Georgia; and Harika Sabbineni, MS, PhD, academic fellow, Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, The University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy, Augusta, Georgia.

On June 19, from 2 to 3 PM ET, learn about Special Considerations for Transitioning Adults & Children with Special Health Care Needs with Jo Ellen Rust, MSN, RN, clinical nurse specialist, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana.

To register for these and learn about other webinars, visit the NACNS website:

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