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Oregon Council of Clinical Nurse Specialists February 2013 Update

The Oregon Council of Clinical Nurse Specialists (OCCNS) has been moving forward with their activities and plans for 2012-13. Two general meetings of the OCCNS membership have focused on health care reform, and more recently, on the structure, function and expected outcomes of newly chartered Coordinated Care Organizations (CCO) in the state, of which there are currently 18. As CNSs learn about CCOs, they see the possibilities, challenges and value of extending their practices to this new environment. To date, no CNS that we know of has been invited to join the staff of an Oregon CCO. It is likely CNSs will have to reach out to the CCOs to have a voice in this configuration of health care in Oregon.

OCCNS has also been working on an updated online directory of CNSs in the state and a workshop to take place in May 2013. This workshop will be focused on messaging about CNS practice and Melinda Ray, the Government Relations Liaison in the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) has been invited to speak. The all-day workshop is meant to assist CNSs in creating their unique message for CCOs and other health care systems in the state. Information about the workshop is being developed and will be available on the OCCNS website,, when it is finalized.

OCCNS is also planning to launch a survey of CNS practice in Oregon. The survey is in development and is intended to document trends in CNS practice, current practice activities and issues, outcomes, and career intentions.

CNSs in Oregon are on a task force of the Oregon State Board of Nursing to update administrative rules for CNS practice. Nearly 25 CNSs in Oregon have met, recommended and reviewed several drafts of this work. Such rules are very important to CNS practice in Oregon.

Notable Oregon CNS’ accomplishments:

  • Five CNSs from Oregon will be presenting at the NACNS 2013 Annual Conference: Ann Busch, Kelly Goudreau, Jenny Richardson, Sherri Atherton, Tracey Loudon, and Deborah Messecar.
  • Sherri Atherton was elected to the Nominating Committee of NACNS.
  • Christine Valdez (OCCNS Chair) was appointed to the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses’ National Education Committee for 2012-2014.


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Oregon Nurses Association
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(503) 293-0011 or 800-634-3552 (Oregon Only)