Aim and objectives. To explore families perceptions of the contribution of clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in intellectual disability nursing in Ireland.Background. CNS roles have developed over the years and are seen as complex and multifaceted, causing confusion, frustration and controversy. 2001 saw the formal introduction of CNS roles in Ireland across nursing including intellectual disability. Design. A exploratory qualitative approach utilising semi-structured one-to-one interviews with 10 family members regarding their perceptions of the CNS in intellectual disability. Methods. Data were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using Burnard’s framework. Ethical approval was gained and access granted by service providers. Findings. The study highlights that intellectual disability CNSs contribute and support care deliver across a range of areas including; personal caring, supporting and empowering families, liaison, education and leadership. Conclusions. CNSs have an important role and contribution in supporting families’ and clients, and Ireland is in a unique position to develop knowledge regarding specialist care for people with intellectual disability that can be shared nationally and internationally.Relevance to clinical practice. Ireland is in a unique position to develop knowledge regarding specialist care for people with intellectual disability that can be shared and adapted by other healthcare professionals in other countries that do not have a specialised intellectual disability nurses.
- intellectual disability nursing