The role of the clinical nurse specialist in stoma care: a scoping review

Andrew Bird, Jennie Burch, Gabrielle Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: Rapidly evolving roles in nursing require exploration and description. This review aims to examine the role of the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in stoma care from the UK perspective.
Design: A scoping review was undertaken using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Data were synthesised using content analysis to derive meaning units and themes.
Data sources: Three electronic databases were used to conduct the search: Embase, AMED and Ovid Medline. Additional sources identified through the reference lists of included studies and guidelines were also included.
Methods: Two reviewers undertook the search for articles that described the role of the stoma care CNS in the UK. Any disagreements were to be resolved through discussion.
Results: Seven papers met the eligibility criteria. Analysis resulted in 184 unique meaning units. Meaning units were grouped into themes reflecting the four pillars of advanced practice: advanced clinical practice; leadership; facilitation of education and learning; and evidence, research and development. The fewest meaning units were attributed to the evidence theme (n=13) and the most related to advanced clinical practice (n=107) such as having specialist knowledge and skills to manage complications.
Conclusion: The stoma care CNS role reflects the four pillars of advanced practice. These practitioners are valuable, carrying out a complex role that involves high-level, specialist decision-making skills. The results from this scoping review could be useful in service development; they will be used to inform the Association of Stoma Care Nurses UK modified Delphi consensus to examine the views of stoma care CNS practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S6-S16
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2023


  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Colorectal
  • Role
  • Stoma

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