Clinical nurse specialists are being prevented from bringing about change because they lack the authority to do so, according to a new UK study.
The researchers from Manchester University observed eight clinical nurse specialists in their work and interviewed a further 14 to find out how their roles diversified from traditional nursing practice.
Findings show that the work of clinical nurse specialists was not static but that they had a 'vision? of how services should be organised and many of their work was around realising this vision, such as setting up clinics for new patients groups and expanding treatment options.
However because their role was seen as advisory they lacked the authority to bring about change and were dependent on their colleagues to make their vision a reality - particularly the specialist consultant.
This meant that clinical nurse specialists often 'worked the system? to get their patients the care they thought they needed such as sending patients to A&E if a GP refused to refer them urgently, the paper says.
Journal of Clinical Nursing (2006) 15:1540 -1549