Finding the Right Fit: Implementation of a Structured Interviewing Process for Clinical Nurse Specialists

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Purpose and Background.

The purpose of this article is to describe how clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in one organization developed a structured interviewing process for CNS candidates. The process has evolved in relation to implementation of national CNS competencies, growth of the role in the organization, and changes to reporting structure.


The CNS interview process includes panel interviews with various organizational leaders, CNSs, and team members. A behavioral-based tool relevant to the CNS role is used. Involving CNS peers in the interview ensures the successful hiring and retaining of suitable candidates. Clinical nurse specialists who were interviewed using the current peer interview procedure have reported satisfaction with the experience.


Peer interviews for CNSs provide a forum for meaningful dialogue about the CNS role, competencies, and fit with the organization. This process can be used for other advanced practice disciplines.

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