The role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist as a non-medical prescriber in managing the palliative care needs of individuals with advanced lung cancer: A United Kingdom perspective

Jenny Osborne, Helen Kerr *

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:

Rapid identification of the palliative care needs of individuals with a diagnosis of advanced lung cancer is crucial to maximise the patient's quality of life by upholding exemplary standards of patient-centred holistic care. The clinical nurse specialist is in an ideal position to contribute to the identification and management of the palliative care needs of individuals with advanced lung cancer through the assessment and timely prescribing of medications to manage distressing symptoms.

Aim:
This paper reviews and critiques the role of the clinical nurse specialist as an independent non-medical prescriber in the management of palliative symptoms in end-of-life care for patients with advanced lung cancer.

Results:
Published literature highlights the positive impact the clinical nurse specialist has as a non-medical prescriber in addressing the palliative needs of individuals with lung cancer. However, there are barriers and challenges, and to overcome these, maximising resources and the availability of support is required to ensure the delivery of timely, person-centred care.

Conclusion:
The clinical nurse specialist as a non-medical prescriber is an evolving role. There are a range of factors that may influence the clinical nurse specialist to confidently and competently undertake this role. These include the perception that there will be an escalation in the workload, concerns about increased accountability and inadequate mentoring for this new role. To incentivise this role, multidisciplinary support is essential in promoting the clinical nurse specialist's confidence for developing this service to individuals with advanced lung cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-342
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2021

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