activities, clinical nurse specialist, contribution, intellectual disability, Ireland, survey



  1. Doody, Owen PhD, MSc, BSc, CertMan, RNID
  2. Slevin, Eamonn DNS, PGDip, BSc, DipEd, RNLD, RGN
  3. Taggart, Laurence PhD, PGCE, BSc, RNID


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.