The Essential CNS Library

Journal Articles*

Klein TA. Implementing autonomous clinical nurse specialist prescriptive authority: a competency-based transition model. Clinical Nurse Specialist. 2012; 26(5), 254-262. doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e318263d753.

Westlake C. Practical tips for literature synthesis. Clinical Nurse Specialist. 2012; 26(5), 244-249.

Thompson TL. The use of evidence in clinical practice decision making. Clinical Nurse Specialist. 2012; 26(4), 237-238. DOI: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e31825e609c.


American Nurses Association. Code of Ethics for Nursing with Interpretive Statement (ANA). Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Publishing; 2001. 
This is ANA's guide for carrying out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality in nursing care and the ethical obligations of the profession.

American Nurses Association. Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Publishing; 2010.
In the document, Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, scope of practice is defined by the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” of nursing practice, including advanced practice nursing.

Duffy M, Dresser S, Fulton J. (editors). Clinical Nurse Specialist Toolkit: A Guide for the New Clinical Nurse Specialist. New York, NY: Springer Publishing, Co; 2009.
This book serves as a one-stop, all-inclusive guide designed for novice Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) just getting started in this exciting new career.

Fulton JS, Lyon BL, Goudreau K. Foundations of Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co; 2010.
This comprehensive book contains information on delivering client care to the individual patient, the family and the community. Includes major sections on designing and evaluating client care interventions, promoting innovation, change, and diffusion in practice, client care delivery and information on the business aspects of CNS practice.

Hardin SR, Kaplow R. Synergy for Clinical Excellence. The AACN Synergy Model for Patient CareSudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett; 2005.
The Synergy Model is the most widely applicable framework for nursing practice. As such, Synergy for Clinical Excellence: The AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care is an essential reference for nurses in developing and implementing the competencies necessary in caring for critically ill patients.

McKinley MG. Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialists: Synergy for Best Practices. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2007.
Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialists: Best Practices presents the knowledge and tools the CNS needs to provide the best standards of practice and performance. It focuses on the role of the CNS in acute and critical care, emphasizing the relationship between critical care nursing, the patient, and the environment of care.

McNamara L, Bell L. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Scope and Standards for Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses; 2010
This book describes the scope and standards of practice for the acute and critical care clinical nurse specialist. Standards of practice include care and professional performance. Also included are competency criteria and suggestions for implementation of the standards in the acute and critical care environment.

Whetstone-Foster JG, Prevost SS. Advanced Practice Nursing of Adults in Acute Care. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis; 2012.
Written by a Clinical Nurse Specialist for Clinical Nurse Specialists and CNS students, this text explores the expanding roles and responsibilities of the CNS from core competencies and theoretical foundations for practice to caring for the hospitalized adult to shaping the healthcare system through the CNS spheres of influence.

Zuzelo PR. The Clinical Nurse Specialist Handbook. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett; 2010.
Readers gain valuable insight and learn effective strategies to manage the day-to-day responsibilities and complexities associated with continuous quality improvement, patient safety initiatives, chairing meetings, and teaching. The book also provides practical advice using real-world CNS scenarios to facilitate learning and positively influence care outcomes.

Web Resources

Center Watch
A website that lists current clinical trials enrolling patients, and has professional educational materials and job postings.

Geriatric Pain – Online Education and Resources
This site, a one-stop resource, shares free best-practice tools and resources that support recommendations for good pain assessment and management in older adults, including implementation of quality improvement processes focused on pain management.

4,400 authors, editors and peer reviewers contribute by writing and continuously updating over 8,300 topics addressing questions that arise in clinical practice. In addition to comprehensive presentation of the evidence, each topic offers practical, detailed and evidence-based recommendations that clinicians can use at the point of care. (This is a subscription with cost.)

 * Journal articles may have abstracts only.


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