A Brief History

In 1943, a nurse educator by the name of Frances Reiter introduced the concept of a nurse clinician propelling Rutgers University to launch the first master’s degree program for Clinical Nurse Specialists. Clinical Nurse Specialists started out specializing in psychiatry but in the 1960’s the role of the clinical nurse specialist expanded due to doctor shortages. As the concept and job description of Clinical Nurse Specialists grew, so did the universities offering master’s programs and by the 1980’s the Clinical Nurse Specialist became an expert in their field of expertise and became more acknowledged by the American Nurses Association.

What is a clinical nurse specialist?

CNS’s play a major and highly important role in patient care within a hospital, clinic, or home care setting. Four principal parts make up the Clinical Nurse Specialist’s role: expert, educator, adviser, instructor. All four of these segments are combined into a multifaceted career.

Clinical Nurse Specialists have a rather large line up of job duties. Not only do they take extensive care of patients but they have to be mentors and role models to the staff that follows their instruction. They also have to have mad sleuthing skills to identify patient problems and use their findings to apply toward a solution.

Clinical nurses can specialize in areas such as women’s health, psychiatry, oncology, adult care, family care, prenatal care, and pediatric care.