Activities of Intellectual Disability Clinical Nurse Specialists in Ireland

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Abstract

Purpose/Aim:

The aim of this study was to identify the contribution of Irish intellectual disability clinical nurse specialists (ID CNSs) to service delivery.

Design:

A nonexperimental descriptive design was selected to survey ID CNSs presently working in Ireland. The questionnaire was developed based on focus group interviews, available literature, and expert panel views.

Methods:

Ethical approval and access were granted to all ID CNSs in Ireland. Thirty-two responded (33.68% response rate) from all work areas (voluntary organizations or health service executive) practicing within residential, community, or school services. Respondents were surveyed across a range of areas (demographic details and support to client, staff, family, organization, community, other agencies, and professional development).

Results:

Findings identify that ID CNSs are active in all aspects of their roles as clinical specialist, educator, communicator, researcher, change agent, and leader, thus supporting person-centered care and improving service delivery.

Conclusions:

To meet changing healthcare demands, promote person-centered care, and improve service delivery, the CNS role in ID should be developed and supported. The findings merit a further study on ID CNS role activity, possible variables influencing role activity, and team members' views.

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