Purpose: This study was set in an acute Irish health care setting and aimed to explore the activity of the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in this setting.
Design: Quantitative methodology, using a valid and reliable questionnaire, provided descriptive statistics that gave accurate data on the total population of CNSs in the health care setting.
Setting: The study was set in an acute-care 750-bed hospital that had 25 CNSs in practice.
Sample: The sample consisted of all 25 CNSs who are the total population of CNSs working in the acute health care institution.
Findings: The findings show the CNS to be active in the roles of researcher, educator, communicator, change agent, leader, and clinical specialist, but the level of activity varies between different roles.
Conclusion: There is variety in the activity of CNSs in the various roles and to what extent they enact the role.
Implications for Practice: The findings merit further study on CNS role activity and possible variables that influence role activity.
Author Affiliations: Associate Dean, Faculty of Science and Health, Dublin City University, Ireland.
No funding was received from the National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and other(s).
Correspondence: Sheelagh Wickham, RGN, RM, RNT, FFNMRCSI, MSc Ed(Hon), DNSci, Faculty of Science and Health, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland (Sheelagh.Wickham@dcu.ie).