A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at Southwest General Health Center, Beth Weese, MSN, RN, GCNS-BC, NPD-BC, describes the CNS role and her contributions to nursing practice. She is currently a Nursing Professional Development Specialist in Nursing Education and Professional Development at Southwest.
First, congratulation to all our nurses as we celebrate the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
I have had the honor of being a registered nurse for 36 years. Of these, 21 years have been as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). In the 1990s, I started the NP track at Kent State University, but while working as the Nurse Manger on an orthopedic unit, I felt drawn to a role where I influenced patient populations and the nurses caring for those populations. I wanted to make sure that they had evidenced based tools in place to provide excellent care to their patients. I met with Dr. Harriet Coeling at Kent State and decided to change to the CNS role. Dr Coeling has continued to be a mentor to me over the years since making this decision.
I love the CNS role because it is multidimensional. Over the past 21 years, I have had the opportunity to develop in all facets of this role. As a certified Geriatric CNS, I worked with elderly patients and their families in our Geriatric Assessment Program. I instituted fall, restraint, and delirium prevention protocols, and implemented the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program all while in my CNS role at Southwest General. These initiatives lead to positive outcomes for our elderly patients.
I have worked closely with our frontline staff to implement new devices such as Targeted Temperature Therapy where I supported the critical care staff with education, and best practice standards of care and workflows. Most satisfying, is my most recent role in education. As an educator, I have had the opportunity to develop new and existing staff. I work with such great professional nurses at Southwest General. My favorite part is mentoring our staff and including them in decision making as we introduce new processes and innovative equipment. Most recently, I worked with one of our nurses in creating an education program on Peritoneal Dialysis. Her dream is to go back to school and be an educator. The highlight of my career is seeing new staff develop into competent, confident nurses that are innovative and patient advocates. I then know that I have done my job well.
I belong to the Northeast Ohio Clinical Nurse Specialist Association.