Clinical Nurse Leader
EVOLUTION OF A REVOLUTION
patient care changes with each individual patient at the micro- system level. In addition, the CNS at the University Health Care System coordinates the hospital- wide orientation programs and provides formal staff education, such as teaching new employees in the skills labs. Although the CNL does assist with staff devel- opment and education, he or she is much more focused on dealing with an individual staff member caring for an individual patient and staff development related to making educational decisions. The CNL and CNS collaborate in building staff nurses’ skills and abilities especially with regard to critical thinking and fostering patient education, such as con- gestive heart failure education. 4
Although there are several more elements and functions of our different roles, these are the central functions that were de- lineated to provide a collaborative and complimentary relationship at the University Health Care System. Clinical nurse leaders and CNSs have the opportunity to work ef- fectively and efficiently through collaboration, evaluating the pres- ent roles, and developing a strategy of continual review of the roles that best fit the institution, the staff, and, ultimately, the patient.
The authors thank Lynn Beaulieu, MSA, RN, nurse manager, Cardiac Step Down Unit, for her perspective of each role and her preliminary editing of this article.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Working Paper on the Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader. February 2007. http://www.aacn. nche.edu/Publications/WhitePapers/ ClinicalNurseLeader.htm. Accessed March 26, 2007.
American Nurses Association. Nurs- ing: Scope and Standards of Practice. Washington, DC: ANA; 2004.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. AACN statement of support for clinical nurse specialist. March 2006. http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Publications/ positions/cnssupport.htm. Accessed March 26, 2007.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Working statement comparing the clinical nurse leader and clinical nurse specialist roles: similarities, differ- ences, and complementarities. AACN;
http://www.aacn.nche.edu/cnl/pdf/ CNLCNSComparisonTable.pdf. Accessed March 26, 2007.
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