A literature review of the role of the specialist palliative care community nurse

Claire Mulvihill, Ann Harrington, Amanda Robertson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    This article reviewed international research to obtain an improved understanding of the role defined in the literature as the specialist palliative care community nurse (SPCCN). Developments in cancer treatment and palliative care have lead to improved symptom control andincreased prognosis for palliative care patients. In response, therehas been a change to the role of the SPCCN indicating a move from a generalized, to specialist, community nurse who provides a consultancy service, thus causing role ambiguity. Within the literature, three themes emerged in defining the role of the community palliative care nurse: communication and collaboration; a clarification of the role; and the role of referral. This review found that there was a blurring of professional boundaries amongst the palliative care team and that the SPCCN has a capacity to coordinate and provide expertise in delivering complex symptom control to patients and their families.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-169
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


    • Clinical nurse specialist
    • Community health nurse
    • General practitioner
    • Literature review
    • Palliative care


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