Feature| Volume 20, ISSUE 6, P574-579, December 2022

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Joining of 2 Powerful Nursing Forces, the Clinical Nurse Specialist and Clinical Nurse Leader

Published:March 23, 2022DOI:


      Nurse executives in 2 adult, acute care hospitals support utilization of the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and clinical nurse leader (CNL), as master’s prepared roles with specialized education, training, and content expertise in clinical care. Utilizing both roles created a dynamic structure to facilitate high quality patient care that is efficient, safe, and cost effective. As the nursing shortage continues to grow and demands of health care continue to expand, the CNS and CNL will ensure high quality care through implementation of evidence-based practice, ongoing quality improvement initiatives, and providing an added layer of clinical care and decision-making support for bedside nurses.
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      Kimberly Pate, DNP, RN, ACCNS-AG, PCCN-K, is director of policy and professional development at Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. She can be reached at [email protected] Veronica Rankin, DNP, RN-BC, NP-C, CNL, NE-BC, is director of nursing excellence at Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center.