Clinical Nurse Specialist

Role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Management of Rheumatic Diseases


The clinical nurse specialist (CNS) provides clinical expertise for evidence-based practice within the specialty of rheumatology. Through autonomous practice they develop, implement, and evaluate programs of care to maximize outcomes for patient-specific and rheumatologic populations. As direct care providers, they complete comprehensive assessments, diagnoses, and treatment plans for people with rheumatic conditions.

What Does the Clinical Nurse Specialist Do?

  • Assess patients
  • Education
  • Role modeling
  • Team building
  • Quality improvement and research
  • Leadership
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Care coordination
  • Patient advocacy

Where Does the Clinical Nurse Specialist Work?

  • Hospital units
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Private practice
  • Rehabilitation centers and long-term care facilities
  • Home health agencies
  • Public health centers

What Kind of Training Does the Clinical Nurse Specialist Have?

  • CNS are registered nurses with advanced training at the master's or doctorate level.
  • CNS is not the same as a nurse practitioner.
  • CNS educational curriculum contains courses in advanced health assessment, physiology, advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, advanced therapeutics, and specialty preparation, as well as research methodology and utilization.
  • Regulated by both state and federal laws, CNS are licensed as registered nurses in the states in which they practice.

This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment of a medical or health condition.

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