Orienting and Onboarding Clinical Nurse Specialists: A Process Improvement Project

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Abstract

Purpose:

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) have a unique advanced practice role. This article describes a process useful in establishing a comprehensive orientation and onboarding program for a newly hired CNS.

Description:

The project team used the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists core competencies as a guide to construct a process for effectively onboarding and orienting newly hired CNSs. Standardized documents were created for the orientation process including a competency checklist, needs assessment template, and professional evaluation goals. In addition, other documents were revised to streamline the orientation process.

Outcome:

Standardizing the onboarding and orientation process has demonstrated favorable results. As of 2016, 3 CNSs have successfully been oriented and onboarded using the new process.

Conclusion:

Unique healthcare roles require special focus when onboarding and orienting into a healthcare system. The use of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists core competencies guided the project in establishing a successful orientation and onboarding process for newly hired CNSs.

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