Clinical Nurse Specialist vs. Clinical Nurse Leader
While both Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) and Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNLs) are graduate-level nurses, their roles differ in several ways. Due to the similarity of their names, many get these important RNs mixed up. Here are the details on these roles.
Clinical Nurse Specialists have a specific population focus in which they specialize. For example, they may concentrate on:
- Adult or Gerontological Health
- Acute Care
- Women's Health
- Mental Health
- Community/ Public Health
As clinical experts in these areas, they use evidence-based research to help develop policies and procedures for an organization to improve patient care outcomes. They also remain up-to-date on current recommendations for patient care and treatment and educate staff on best practices. They may participate in or conduct research within their specialty and collaborate with other members of the healthcare team.
Clinical Nurse Leaders work with a more general population, depending on their place of employment. For example, they may work in specific units within a hospital setting. They may work directly with patients and sometimes directly manage nursing staff.
While they may also implement evidence-based practices in their work area, one of the primary roles of a CNL is to provide expertise on cost-effective care. They assess and evaluate barriers to efficiency and work to resolve those issues. Ensuring consistency of care by healthcare workers is essential to this principle.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Dual Degree Nursing Programs?In the United States, Dual Degree Nursing Programs (or DDNPs), sometimes called Combined Degrees, are degrees that mix nursing education…
Are You a Next Gen Nurse? Prepare for the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) Questions Now!When 65% of the medical errors involving nurses are related to poor clinical decision-making, it is high time to change…
Do Women’s Only RN to BSN Programs Exist?Nursing and women's-only colleges have a long, shared history. Up until the beginning of the 19th century, women generally were…
Is Travel Nursing the Right Adventure for You?Jetting off to a tropical location or new city for a few months while getting paid top dollar can be…
What Is CNOR and Why Should You Go For It?The Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI) is an organization that focuses on perioperative professional certifications for nurses. CCI identifies the…