Taking care of the caretakers: a partial explanation of clinical nurse specialist practice


  • Karen Moore Schaefer RN DNSc

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Allentown College of St Francis de Sales, Center Valley and Nurse Researcher, The Allentown Hospital—Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
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K.M Schaefer 67 W Greenwich Street Bethehem, Pennsylvania 18018, USA.


The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical practice of clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) Data were collected from three recorded case studies and interviews from a theoretical sample of 17 masters-prepared CNSs who had functioned in the CNS role for a minimum of 1 year Using the constant comparative method, transcribed interviews were line-coded and clustered to form groups of data that could be labelled as constructs Caring was validated as the basic psychological process Scientific caring included investigating and teaching, humanistic caring included creating the new, showing the way, working with others, and taking care of the environment It was found that CNSs took care of the caretakers as well as the patients and their families