The Imposter Phenomenon in the Clinical Nurse Specialist Role
Arena D. M.
The imposter phenomenon describes individuals who at times feel as if they are imposters in their chosen profession. Individuals experiencing the phenomenon have a deep feeling that they are fooling everyone. The title of clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in itself may foster misinterpretations and false beliefs in oneself or others. The term "specialist" implies expertise in the five subroles of the CNS (educator, consultant, research, clinician and manager). Feelings of imposture within the CNS role can precipitate or exacerbate low self-esteem and lead to ineffective role implementation. The phenomenon must be recognized in the CNS and management strategies instituted. Management strategies include peer support, CNS mentoring and self-provided positive reinforcement. Further research is essential to document the existence of the phenomenon within the CNS role and the creation of effective management strategies to prevent or alleviate it.
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Image: The Journal of Nursing Scholarship. – 1992. – Vol. 24, № 2. – P. 121–126.