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College of Nursing

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Leading the Way for Clinical Nurse Specialists


On January 9, 2017, the State of Michigan gave title protection to clinical nurse specialists (CNS), which gave them the ability to practice to the fullest extent of their license and as an advanced practice nurse (APN). Although the law has changed, hospitals have been slow to utilize their CNS in the most effective way for patients.

The transition from law to application in the field has been stagnant in many hospital settings, with no one seeming to take the charge. Angela Floyd, MSN ’19, and a clinical nurse specialist, has been a leading voice for CNS privileges at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“Hospitals have changed their policies, but it hasn’t changed what we can do,” she says.

The changes that Floyd is spearheading for CNSs include the ability to write orders, prescriptions, and direct consulting services for patients. To make this happen, Floyd has formally requested that the hospital evaluate the situation and perhaps form a task force to determine how to operationalize the alteration in law.

Floyd credits her education at the College of Nursing for giving her the ability to be a voice for others.

“I was taught to go for everything that I’m entitled to as a CNS,” Floyd said. “When I came into practice, I realized that the laws say I should be doing one thing, but I wasn’t allowed to practice it.”

Faculty members Drs. Kathleen Poindexter and Jackie Iseler have been instrumental in Floyd’s learning, especially now that she onboards ICU nurses and has recently become an instructor at the college herself.

“Dr. Poindexter taught me how to develop organized formats and teach effectively,” Floyd noted, “while Dr. Iseler inspired me to be different and to always be passionate about what I do.”