The clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is positioned to influence spiritual care at three levels of practice: patient, nurse, and system. This study, the first to explore CNS spiritual care, reports on CNSs' perceptions in providing spiritual care. Four themes were extracted from interview data: 1) Providing direct spiritual support for patients, 2) Nurses need support in providing spiritual care, 3) Using existing resources, and 4) Spiritual care falls short. Not one CNS mentioned barriers to their direct provision of spiritual care. Results support that CNSs can improve spiritual care delivery.
Mitzi M. Saunders, PhD, RN, is a certified adult clinical nurse specialist and associate professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan. She coordinates and teaches in the adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist program.
Karen Harris, MSN, RN, is a certified adult clinical nurse specialist and clinical track nursing instructor at the University of Detroit Mercy. She has experience in medical/surgical, oncology, critical care, high-risk obstetrics, postpartum, and neonatal nursing care.
Deborah L. Hale, MSN, RN, is a certified adult clinical nurse specialist. She has experience in nursing education, medical-surgical nursing, home healthcare, and faith community nursing.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Accepted by peer-review 5/11/2016.