CNS program

The Clinical Nurse Specialist program (CNS)


Educate nurses (Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses) for an advanced clinical role in the health care system in Saskatchewan. The report “Commitment to Care: Nursing Recruitment and Retention in Saskatchewan” (2009) calls  for a provincial strategy that addresses the role and utilization of clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners, as these two roles have proven to positively impact health care delivery and patient outcomes (Ministry of Health, Government of Saskatchewan (2009), p.180). The  clinical nurse specialist works with other registered nurses, physicians and other health professionals to promote excellence in nursing practice by leading quality improvement initiatives, designing and implementing evidence-based policies and practices, and supporting nurses and other health-care professionals in using best practice guidelines.

The CNS program consists of 11 courses including 8 nursing courses, 2 courses from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and 1 approved elective. The entire program can be taken online, including an elective.

Two advanced nursing practice roles are recognized in Canada:

  • the clinical nurse specialist
  • the nurse practitioner.

Clinical nurse specialists provide expert nursing care and play a leading role in the development of clinical guidelines and protocols. They provide advanced clinical care, promote the use of evidence, provide expert support and consultation, and facilitate the system change. Whereas nurse practitioners provide direct care, focusing on health promotion and the management of health conditions. (Canadian Nurses Association, 2008)

Both RN's and RPN's are eligible for acceptance into the CNS program, in order to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Listed below are several examples of areas of specialty within our program that a student could choose:

-Mental Health

-Geriatrics

-Indigenous Studies

-Palliative Care

-Maternity

-Med/Surg

-Pediatrics