The role of the clinical nurse specialist in stoma care: A modified Delphi consensus

Jennie Burch, Andrew Bird, Gabrielle Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The role of the clinical nurse specialist is complex but is defined differently across the world. The role of clinical nurse specialist stoma care is undefined and it is uncertain what aspects of the role are included in the general day-to-day working role.

Aims: The aim was to gain consensus opinion to answer the research question: ‘What is the role of the clinical nurse specialist in stoma care?’

Design: Delphi consensus.

Methods: Previous data gained from a scoping review and expert consultation was utilized to form role statements. At a UK conference the 13 statements and 173 sub-categories were voted upon. Consensus was agreed if 75% of voters voted agree or strongly agree. Two stages of voting occurred with results from the first vote being shared in the second voting session.

Results: All 13 statement and most (150/193) statement sub-categories reached consensus, with 20 sub-categories added during voting session one.

Conclusions: The four pillars of advanced practice were met by the 13 statements with clinical and education reaching higher consensus and agreement than leadership/management and research. The results of the consensus study provide a clearer articulation of the clinical nurse specialist stoma care role, which is complex and multifaceted which has not been described previously.

Implications for Practice: Consideration of role evolution is made possible, to gain a greater expertise in the scope of practice it is necessary to include prescribing, management and research which could improve service delivery and optimize patient outcomes. There was no patient or public contribution, which in hindsight would have potentially improved the process but it was considered that patients might not recognize the full role of the nurse, understanding only aspects of the role that were patient-centred.

Patient or Public Contribution: No patients or public were involved in any aspect of this paper—in hindsight this might have been useful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3371-3381
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number8
Early online date21 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2023


  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Delphi Technique
  • Nurse roles
  • Stoma Care

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