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Clinical Nurse Specialists Form Task Forces to Improve Care in U.S. Hospitals

The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) has announced the formation of two new task forces that will address two pressing issues in healthcare: malnutrition in hospitalized patients; and caring for patients with multiple chronic conditions.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who ensure high quality nursing care that is evidence-based and promotes patient safety, while improving patient outcomes and lowering healthcare costs.
 
The new task forces will develop recommendations for activities and resources that will allow CNSs to provide leadership to maintain optimal nutrition of hospital patients and provide care for patients with multiple chronic conditions across the lifespan.
 
Ensuring that patients maintain optimal nutrition status and avoiding malnutrition while they are hospitalized and during transitions from hospital to other care settings or home are significant challenges for healthcare providers.

According to the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, one in three Americans is malnourished at the time he or she is admitted to the hospital. Malnutrition is associated with a higher incidence of surgical site infections, pressure ulcers and falls, which cause longer hospital stays and higher readmission rates.
 
The malnutrition task force, which was established with the support of Abbott Nutrition Health Institute, is charged with developing a white paper that delineates the role of the CNS and the staff nurse in risk assessment, and identification and treatment of malnutrition. The paper will also describe the role of the CNS in coordinating a team-based response to this problem across all healthcare settings.
 
A study in Preventing Chronic Disease found that roughly half of all adults in U.S. have at least one of ten chronic conditions, and one in four has more than one. Managing care for these complex patients can be difficult.
 
The chronic care task force is charged with developing a white paper that delineates the role of the CNS in managing care for this growing patient population.
 
The Malnutrition and the Promotion of Optimal Nutritional Status Task Force includes:
 
Tracy Chamblee, PhD, APRN, PCSN-BC, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Critical Care Services, Children's Medical Center, Frisco, Texas
 
Joanne Evans, MEd, RN, PHMCNS-BC, Executive Director, Healthy Nurses.Healthy Communities, Bethesda, Md.
 
Hai Lan Yoon, RN, MSN, AOCNS, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Med-Surg Unit, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
 
Chet McCauley, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CRN, Clinical Nurse Specialist/Education Coordinator, HOAG HOSPITALS, Newport Beach and Irvine, Calif.
 
Melanie Shuster, PhD, ACNS-BC, CNSC, GNP-BC, NP-C, Allegheny Center for Digestive Health, Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
Susan Smith, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, Adult CNS, Critical Care Services, Baylor University Medical Center, Houston
 
Mary J. Waldo, PhD, RN, Director, Professional Practice, Quality and Research, Providence Health & Services, Oregon Region (PHSOR), Portland, Oregon
 
The Role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Care of Patients with Chronic Conditions Task Force includes:
 
Lori A. Dambaugh, DNP, CNS, RN, Assistant Professor, Wegman's School of Nursing, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, N.Y.
 
Polly Hansen, RN, MN, CCRN, PCCN, CNS, Legacy Health, Portland, Ore.
 
Cynthia R. Kollauf, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, Community-Based Case Management, Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, Wisc.
 
Cheryl Lillegraven, MSN, RN, CNRN, ANCS-BC, CNS- Adult and Geriatrics, UnityPoint Health, Des Moines, Iowa
 
Renée A. Martin, RN, MN, PHCNS-BC, CGRN, GI Educator, Liver Coordinator, Staff RN-GI Lab/SSCU, Portland Veterans Administration Hospital, Portland, Ore.
 
Julia Senn-Reeves, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCNS, CCRN, Instructor, Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Ky.
 
Renada Rochon, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CNS, Medical-Surgical Areas, Veterans Administration Hospital, San Antonio
 
Ludmilla Santiago-Rotchford, MSN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, CNS, Cardiology Service Line, Heart Failure and Pulmonary Hypertension, Orlando Regional Medical Center; Orlando, Florida
 
Monica Staples, ACNS-BC, RN, MSN, CNS-White 10, General Medical Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

For more information visit www.nacns.org

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