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Specialist practice in nursing and midwifery

The clinical career pathway for specialist roles in nursing and midwifery is clinical nurse/midwife specialist (CNS/CMS).

You could pursue a specialist role if you:

  • have a particular interest in a certain area of nursing or midwifery
  • wish to become a clinical expert within a specific area (either a clinical area or in relation to a clinical condition)

About the role of CNS/CMS

The role of CNS/CMS offers practitioners a career pathway incorporating professional development within an inter-professional team structure.

The speciality area is a defined area of nursing and midwifery practice. This specialist practice encompasses a major clinical focus of care to patients or clients and their families in hospital, community and outpatient settings. The specialist nurse or midwife will work with medical and para-medical colleagues.

The CNS/CMS role centres on 5 core competencies:

  • clinical focus (direct care and indirect care)
  • patient/client advocate
  • education and training
  • audit and research
  • consultant including leadership in clinical practice

Related topic

Framework for the establishment of Clinical Nurse/Midwife Specialist Posts (PDF, 351KB, 21 pages)

CNS/CMS clinical specialisms

There is a wide range of clinical specialisms in Ireland across different settings. Some examples include:

  • chronic disease: respiratory, diabetes and cardiology
  • midwifery: ultrasonography, bereavement and loss and foetal assessment
  • child and adolescent mental health
  • community: mental health and tissue viability
  • paediatrics: paediatric diabetes
  • ID Services: positive behaviour support and acute hospital liaison
  • Older Persons Services: memory assessment and support

Career Pathways for Clinical Nurse Specialist/Clinical Midwife Specialist (CNS/CMS)

The CNS/CMS career pathways were developed in line with the DoH (2019) A Policy on the Development of Graduate to Advanced Nursing and Midwifery Practice.

Please see eligibility criteria below:

Updated Job Descriptions:

CNS/CMS application process

  • Talk to your local line manager.
  • Contact your local CNS/CMS NMPDU support contacts (see below).
  • Request copies of CNS/CMS post descriptions and post-holder application forms.
  • Request details of process for approval.

Related topic

Standard operating procedure (SOP) for the approval of CNSp./CMSp. applications onto the Interim Database of CNSp./CMSp. for statutory and voluntary organisations of the HSE under Delegated Authority from the Department of Health (DOH) September 2019

Contact the CNS/CMS support network

HSE South (Cork, Kerry)

Ms Carmel Buckley (Chairperson) Area Director, NMPDU, Administration Building, St Mary’s Health Campus,Gurranabraher, Cork
Ms Amy Slattery,NMPD Officer NMPDU, Administration Building, St Mary’s Health Campus, Gurranabraher, Cork

HSE North-West

Ms Liz Breslin, NMPD Officer NMPDU, HSE West, College Street, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal

HSE West Mid-west

Ms Carmel Hoey, NMPD Officer NMPDU, West/Mid-West, Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway
Ms Paula McGreal, NMPD Officer Centre of Nurse and Midwifery Education, St Mary's Campus Castlebar, Co Mayo
Ms Martina Vaughan, NMPD Officer NMPDU, Block A (2nd floor – red corridor), Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway

NMPD Dublin North-East

Ms Eimear Rogers, NMPD Officer NMPDU, HSE Dublin North East, St Bridget's Complex, Ardee, Co. Louth.

HSE Dublin Mid Leinster

Ms Anne Bursnell NMPD Officer, NMPDU, Dublin South, Kildare & Wicklow, HSE, Stewarts Hospital, Mill Lane, Palmerstown, Dublin 20

HSE South-East

Ms Michelle Waldron, NMPD Officer NMPDU, HSE South (Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford) Kilcreene Hospital Campus, Kilkenny

HSE Dublin North

Ms Sarah Roche, NMPD Officer NMPDU, HSE Dublin North, Swords Business Campus, Balheary Road, Swords, Co. Dublin

HSE Dublin Mid Leinster

Ms Mary O’Connor Director NMPDU NMPDU, HSE, 1st Floor, Scott Building, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore Campus, Arden Road, Tullamore, Co Offaly