Clinical Specialist in Community Health Nursing: Advanced Practice Fit or Misfit?


  • Naomi E. Ervin

    1. Ph.D., R.N., A.P.R.N.-B.C., F.A.A.N., is Professor and Director, School of Nursing, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan.
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Naomi E. Ervin, School of Nursing, Eastern Michigan University, Room 311 Marshall Building, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. E-mail:


ABSTRACT The purpose of this paper is to address several questions and issues about the clinical specialist role in community health nursing. A brief history of the development of the clinical specialist role sets the background for a discussion of how the community health nurse specialist fits within advanced practice nursing. The rationale for including the community health nurse clinical specialist role with other specialist roles is presented. The purpose and importance of certification at the advanced practice level in community health nursing are presented. Continued discussion about these and other issues of importance for the specialty is encouraged.