This is a comparison of clinical nurse leaders (CNL) vs clinical nurse specialists (CNS). This paper shows the similarities and differences of the roles of CNLs and CNSs. The full title of the paper is, Working Statement Comparing the Clinical Nurse Leaders and
Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles: Similarities, Differences and
Complementarities. It was originally published in December of 2004. This paper was approved by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Board of Directors in May 2003. To address questions that have been raised by the
nursing community, a group of individual clinical nurse specialists, leaders in the field of nursing and CNS practice and education, were asked to work with AACN to develop a statement that would compare the CNL and CNS roles: the similarities, differences and complementarities. This statement represents the work of those individuals.