State & National Organizations
The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS)
The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS), founded in 1995, exists to enhance and promote the unique, high value contribution of the clinical nurse specialist to the health and well-being of individuals, families, groups, and communities, and to promote and advance the practice of nursing. Members of NACNS benefit from national, regional, and local efforts of the Association to make the contributions of CNSs more visible.
NACNS publishes the national CNS competencies-to order a copy of the NACNS Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education, 2nd edition, 2004- see NACNS.org.
Currently, refinement of the national CNS competencies is underway and the public comment period has just been completed. Check the NACNS website for updates.
All CNS educators and students in Texas are encouraged to join NACNS as their professional organization nationally. Dues are reduced for students.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for America's baccalaureate- and higher-degree nursing education programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is the accrediting arm of the AACN and accredits some of the CNS programs in the U.S.
The AACN has a position statement giving strong support for the CNS role—check website.
The National League for Nursing (NLN)
The National League for Nursing advances excellence in nursing education that prepares the nursing workforce to meet the needs of diverse populations in an ever-changing health care environment.
The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLN-AC) is the accrediting arm of the NLN and accredits some of the CNS programs in the U.S.
Texas Board of Nursing (TxBON)
The mission of the TxBON is “to protect and promote the welfare of the people of Texas by ensuring that each person holding a license as a nurse in the State of Texas is competent to practice safely.”The Tx BON regulates Advanced Practice Nursing (as well as Nursing) in Texas.
The BON website has some very useful information for Clinical Nurse Specialists and CNS faculty and students, particularly about the scope of practice. The application to practice as a CNS in Texas can be downloaded.
The “Guidelines for Determining APN Scope of Practice” can be downloaded from their site and is highly recommended for all CNS and APN students.
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
The ANCC offers most of the advanced practice certification CNS exams. Faculty should provide content for CNS student on how to prepare for the exams and how to access current information. To practice as a CNS in Texas, a national certification exam must be successfully taken.
American Nurses Association (ANA)
The American Nurses Association is the leading professional organization for registered nurses in the U.S. and a strong advocate for the CNS role as well as other advanced practice nurse roles.
American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN)
The AACN offers one of the CNS certification exams that is approved by the BON. Many leaders in the CNS community are also leaders in AACN.
Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)
A number of CNS roles in Texas are in the field of oncology and palliative care. ONS is the leading nursing organization for this specialization of nursing.
Coalition for Nurses in Advanced Practice (TX) (CNAP)
The Texas Clinical Nurse Specialist organization is a member of CNAP and supports a collegial relationship with other advanced practice nurses. CNAP works to advance all APN roles in Texas. Monthly meetings are held in Austin and any CNS educator or CNS student may attend. If interested, contact Tx CNS leaders for more information.
The mission of CNAP is to create a legal and regulatory climate in which Advanced Practice Nurses can use their full potential to improve the health and well being of all Texans; and to educate Advanced Practice Nurses and stakeholders about the legal boundaries of APN practice.