Clinical Nurse Specialist (RN)

  • Unity Health Toronto
  • Sep 21, 2022
Full time

Job Description

Position Summary:

The Seniors’ Health & Ambulatory Care portfolio at the Providence Healthcare site of Unity Health Toronto (UHT) consists of a 66 bed inpatient Geriatric Medical Rehabilitation Unit, and outpatient and outreach services including the Regional Geriatric Program (RGP) and the Adult Day Program and Caregiver Support Program. Robust community based and community partnered programs and services are key to the care we deliver. The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Seniors’ Health and Ambulatory Care is integral in working with patients, residents, families and inter-professional teams in the providing safe quality care, supporting transitions, and well as supporting the Inter-professional team and works closely with program and physician leadership in growing the program to support the needs of the patients, families, and the communities we serve.

Providence Healthcare is also developing a Centre of Excellence for Rehabilitation Science and Healthy Living. This will include the addition of 180 new long-term care (LTC) spaces allocated to UHT for a new home on the Providence site as part of the portfolio’s proposed Campus of Care and Senior’s Health Program. With this expansion, UHT will be able to expand capacity and serve more seniors in the East End community. The new LTC home will include high-acuity priority access beds, dementia programming, specialized geriatric services, and will embed research and education in many areas.

The CNS, Seniors’ Health and Ambulatory Care works with the inter-professional team within many Programs/Departments at Unity Health Toronto (UHT) to support nursing care that optimizes patient outcomes and experiences, and enhances safety, efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility to care for patients by: 

  • acting as a change agent and knowledge brokers locally (within the inter-professional team), corporately and with external partners;
  • working with other nurse leaders to support the development of nursing staff and support the implementation of key nursing practice initiatives, including the development, implementation and evaluation of nursing best practices;
  • collaborating with inter-professional partners to develop, implement and evaluate nursing best practice guidelines and other forms of evidence in specific patient populations, and deliver holistic and evidence-based care to patients and families.

 The CNS, Seniors’ Health and Ambulatory Care demonstrate advanced knowledge, skill and judgment in providing care to patients by: 

  • blending clinical expertise with education, knowledge translation, leadership and research skills to serve as consultants and resources to nurses, inter-professional teams and external partners;
  • facilitating and coordinate the development of comprehensive care plans in conjunction with the inter-professional team to meet the needs of complex and high-risk patients.

 The CNS, Seniors’ Health and Ambulatory Care involvement in these processes enable healthcare teams to achieve the following outcomes: 

  • improved patient satisfaction and outcomes;
  • shortened length of stay and improved resource utilization;
  • enhanced patient access to care and services;
  • delivery of safe, equitable, and accessible quality care to diverse UHT patient populations. 



The CNS works within 4 domains of practice. 

Clinical Domain:  

  • Involved in direct and indirect patient care using a systems-oriented and population-focused approach
  • Supports the nursing management of complex illnesses
  • Collaborates with the inter-professional team in the development of comprehensive care plans for complex or high risk patients
  • Works as a member of the internal consultation team for the Specialized Geriatric Services (SGS) to provide comprehensive geriatric assessments and management recommendations, as needed
  • Acts as patient advocate and partners with patients and families
  • Collaborates with internal and external partners for the transition and coordination of patient care, including discharge planning 

Knowledge Translation 

  • Critically appraises research and applies it to practice, quality and patient safety initiatives
  • Builds nursing capacity by supporting evidence based practice at the point of care
  • Mentors nursing students (undergraduate and graduate) and staff, e.g., professional development and quality improvement initiatives
  • Leads and collaborates in the development of education programs based on current evidence for patients/families, nurses and inter-professional team members, and evaluates system interventions to decrease risks and complications
  • Attend rounds/case conferences to support various Community Geriatric teams as needed
  • Supports the Providence Site Expansion project, notably the Seniors Health and LTC expansion activities, through the translation of geriatric best practices and innovation 


Collaborates in research activities and quality improvement initiatives, incorporating patient satisfaction data

  • Mentors nurses in the development of abstracts, presentations and publications
  • Identifies opportunities to engage with research teams as co-investigators
  • Participates in presentations/publications of research and quality improvement initiatives
  • Eligible for cross appointments with affiliated/approved institutions to build coalitions, share resources, knowledge and expertise


  • Leads and participates in developing corporate and unit/program policies, guidelines and other practice documents
  • Leads and participates in unit and hospital wide committees and working groups to develop, implement and sustain best patient care practices
  • Supports inter-professional collaboration in planning, implementation, evaluation and sustainability of local and corporate initiatives
  • Facilitates identification of opportunities for collaboration with academic and health care partners
  • Facilitates and leads team-based activities, e.g., clinical rounds, strategic planning
  • Facilitates the implementation of a Senior Friendly Care approach at the Providence Healthcare site


  • Registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario in the General Class, required
  • Master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, required
  • CNA certification in Gerontology or other certification, preferred
  • Cross appointed to Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing or eligibility, preferred
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of relevant experience in the nursing care of the elderly, required
  • Previous experience as a Clinical Nurse Specialist within rehabilitation nursing, complex care or LTC, preferred
  • Superior verbal, written communication and presentations skills, required
  • Knowledge and experience integrating evidence based practices into clinical environments, required
  • Previous experience in teaching, facilitating learning in nursing and inter-professional teams, and with patients/families, preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership in committee work, education, quality improvement, and knowledge translation initiatives
  • Well-developed leadership competencies with skills in negotiation, active listening, participative leadership, analysis, coaching and goal setting
  • Proven ability to be an effective team member and leader, as appropriate, to the circumstances
  • Ability to inspire others to continually support a vision and strategies for practice that is evidence based
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and organize workload in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to forge effective partnerships with multiple, diverse stakeholders
  • Advanced computer skills in a variety of software packages and applications
  • Demonstrated commitment to, and understanding of, the Mission and Values of Unity Health Toronto


As a condition of employment, all external hires will be required to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination or documentation unless a valid accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code exists.  Please note, if you are extended an offer of employment, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination in Ontario QR Code format. All internal candidates must be in compliance with Unity Health Toronto’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. 

Job Category



Toronto, Ontario