Web-based Networking in CNS Education

Publication Title

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Publication Date


Document Type



CNS education, distance learning, professional role development




Purpose: An important component of the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) educational program involves anticipatory guidance for students assimilating the CNS role. This article describes a strategy for facilitating this transition through online discussion about CNS practice among students and experienced CNSs. Description of the Process: Six students in the final semester of their CNS program and 5 CNSs from across the country used the WebCT platform to participate in an online learning experience. This article outlines the process of structuring an online discussion, soliciting an expert panel, and preparing the participants. Students' concerns and panelists' responses are presented. Conclusions: Themes that emerged from students' questions to the panelists were certification and title protection; developing a career trajectory, including tips for interviewing and negotiation; and current and future trends in CNS practice. Benefits to participants are described, as well as suggestions for using Web-based discussion in other applications.