Dear CNS Colleagues,
The VaCNS leadership team met in Lynchburg to formulate a multi-year strategy for moving Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) practice forward in Virginia. It was a thought-provoking and productive meeting, which resulted in a workable blueprint for the future. Our first initiative is pursuit of a change in the language defining CNS practice within law. As you know, Virginia law has protected the title of CNS for many years, meaning only those educated and certified can identify themselves as CNSs. VaCNS successfully achieved a change in the law last year so that CNS practice is acknowledged as advanced practice nursing, which more closely aligns with the intent of the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation. We are now prepared to develop our next legislative steps. I encourage each of you to ponder the definition of CNS practice in Virginia law; the language is non-descript and permits wide variation in interpretation. In order to be successful, we need every Virginia CNS! Join us so we can move this initiative forward expeditiously.
The definition of CNS found in Chapter 30 (Title 54.1-3000) of Virginia Code:
"Clinical nurse specialist" means an advanced practice registered nurse who meets the requirements set forth in § 54.1-3018.1 and who is currently registered by the Board. Such a person shall be recognized as being able to provide advanced services according to the specialized training received from a program satisfactory to the Board, but shall not be entitled to perform any act that is not within the scope of practice of professional nursing.
Hence, VaCNS seeks six (6) VaCNS members passionate about this initiative to step forward and dedicate nine (9) months of their time to the creation of an actionable plan. As you know, Hildegard Peplau established the CNS role in the late 50s with the distinct expectation that CNSs would ensure the delivery of quality nursing care through expert-level direct caregiving, mentoring professional nurses, and forging system change that positively impacts the patient experience. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) acknowledges CNS practice as one of the four advanced practice nursing roles, which is also consistent with the long-standing recognition of CNSs as providers by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Therefore, I am asking that you email me directly at email@example.com with your interest in this initiative. We would like the work to begin by mid-February.
Linda Thurby-Hay, President
Virginia Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain…” Vivian Greene