The following article features coverage from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

Providing support to clinical nurses with a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and clinical leaders improved both clinical and nonclinical outcomes in medical-surgical units, according to a presentation given at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference.

Nurses on medical-surgical units are often faced with the complicated task of analyzing and coordinating care for many patients with varying conditions and degrees of severity. Additional burden has been reported with increased focus on quality measures and efficiency. Study authors evaluated whether collaboration with a CNS and a clinical leader could positively impact nursing practice in areas of clinical outcomes and staff engagement.

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For this study, daily rounding on the unit was completed with a multidisciplinary team including the CNS, case management representative, manager and assistant manager, and additional team members. The team would engage with the clinical nurse daily to review each patient, and highlight information that would provide teaching opportunities or improve the efficiency of care. Data pertinent to unit/organization goals were collected.

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Analysis showed that the intervention led to the CNS being alerted to patient condition-related concerns more frequently and improved critical thinking and staff engagement, resulting in more outcome-focused, patient-centered care.

The authors concluded that “rounding completed with a nursing leader and a CNS engages the clinical staff in critical thinking and outcome-oriented patient care, in addition to providing a structured time for leader interaction and support, laying a foundation for trust and engagement.”


Murray A. The CNS-leader dyad: providing support to clinical nurses through daily rapid rounds on a medical-surgical unit. Oral presentation at: NACNS 2018 Annual Conference; February 28-March 3, 2018; Austin, TX.