What are the educational requirements for new CNSs under the Consensus Model?
New CNSs will be required to be educated and their competencies assessed via national certification exams, across the continuum from wellness through acute care in one of six population foci:
- Adult-gerontology (entire adult population: young adults, older adults, the frail elderly)
- Psych/mental health
- Family/individual across the life span
- Women’s health/gender-related
Education, certification, licensure and practice of an individual nurse must be congruent in terms of both role and population foci.
How will the Consensus Model affect the scope of practice of CNSs?
The Consensus Model language does more to broaden than to limit CNS scope of practice. Under the Consensus Model, all CNSs, regardless of population focus, will be required to attain the knowledge, skills and abilities to care for patients across the continuum from wellness through acute care.
Included within the term acute care are the competencies to care for patients who require complex monitoring and therapies, high-intensity advanced practice nursing intervention and continuous vigilance within the full range of high acuity and critical care.
Why isn’t critical care noted in the Consensus Model?
The Consensus Model encompasses acute care, requiring that CNSs be educated and their competencies assessed via national certification exams, across the continuum from wellness through acute care. While it is not specifically called out in the Consensus Model, critical care falls under the larger umbrella of acute care.
Acute care refers to the care provided to acutely ill patients. The term acute care, while sometimes misunderstood, does not apply to all hospitalized patients.
Will AACN’s “Scope and Standards for the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute and Critical Care” be updated to align with Consensus Model recommendations?
Yes. AACN’s “Scope and Standards for the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute and Critical Care” was published in 2010, and is currently being updated.
The update aligns CNS scope and standards with Consensus Model language, while also addressing other changes in the healthcare environment since the last edition was published. The key updates are as follows:
- Allows maximum flexibility for CNS nursing practice to evolve over time by clarifying the wide range of patient care environments CNSs can work in
- Expands adult population competencies to include geriatric content
- Incorporates the CNSs’ role to facilitate patient transitions across a complex environment for optimal patient outcomes
- Integrates the translation of evidence into nursing practice
The publication “Scope and Standards for the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute and Critical Care” has been renamed “Scope and Standards for the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute Care.”
The name of this publication — and AACN’s new AACNS certifications — were changed to align with the language adopted by the consensus process and to avoid any confusion among regulators and other stakeholders that would impede licensure for AACNS certificants.
Critical care sits under the umbrella of acute care in the Consensus Model. The CNS competencies are as comprehensive as before, and the patient care problems are the same.
Does the Consensus Model affect CNSs ability to work in critical care?
No. The umbrella of acute care, under which critical care falls, includes any environment in which patients have care requirements that include complex monitoring and therapies, high-intensity advanced practice nursing intervention and continuous vigilance within the full range of high acuity care.
Acutely ill patients may be found in areas such as emergency departments, progressive care units, critical care units, heart failure clinics — those at the higher end of the continuum of wellness to acute care. The term acutely ill refers more to the acuity of the patient, not a specific geographical area.
Will a DNP be required for advanced practice licensure in 2015?
The Consensus Model does not require or exclude the DNP as an entry-level option for APRNs.