Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Role expansion for nurses in the cardiac catheter laboratory: findings from a systematic scoping review.

Gillingham, Iain; Neubeck, Lis; Williams, Brian; Dawkes, Susan


Iain Gillingham

Lis Neubeck

Brian Williams


Background/aims: The cardiac catheter laboratory offers services to patients with a variety of conditions. These may include coronary heart disease, structural heart disorders and cardiac electrophysiological syndromes. Owing to the complex nature of an evolving health service and the increasing demands placed on healthcare workers, it is essential that innovative paradigms of service delivery are identified. This scoping review examines the state of knowledge regarding the rationale for change, solutions and potential consequences of expanding the roles of nurses in the cardiac catheter lab. Methods: An exploratory scoping study approach was employed, using an established framework. Databases searched included the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Medline and Google Scholar. A systematic search strategy spanning a date range from 1988–2018 was formulated. Titles and abstracts of 172 papers were screened; a total of 20 papers were identified for full review, including 16 from the UK, one from the United States, two from Europe and one from Australia. Results: Literature to date concentrated on seven key areas: (1) drivers for change, (2) principles underpinning change, (3) ways of developing the workforce, (4) appropriate change management, (5) recommendations for practice, (6) barriers and facilitators, and (7) outcomes. Conclusions: The cardiac catheter lab is under pressure to meet the variable demands placed upon it. There is documented evidence of a shortage of cardiac physiologists, which has a direct and measurable impact on operational efficiency and patient care. The concept of expanding the nurse's role to incorporate aspects of the cardiac physiologist's role has been explored and could be a potential solution. Role expansion and advanced practice is a well-explored model in nursing. There are many themes associated with this issue, which are outlined in this paper. There needs to be more evidence surrounding the patient's perceptions in relation to professional roles in the workplace. An economic evaluation of the costs and benefits of a multiskilled workforce would be a challenging but worthwhile endeavour.


GILLINHAM, I., NEUBECK, L., WILLIAMS, B. and DAWKES, S. 2020. Role expansion for nurses in the cardiac catheter laboratory: findings from a systematic scoping review. British journal of cardiac nursing [online], 15(4), pages 1-14. Available from:

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Mar 18, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 21, 2020
Publication Date Apr 2, 2020
Deposit Date May 20, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 20, 2021
Journal British Journal of Cardiac Nursing
Print ISSN 1749-6403
Electronic ISSN 2052-2207
Publisher Mark Allen Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 4
Pages 1-14
Keywords Advanced practice; Cardiac catheter lab; Clinical nurse specialists; Multiskill; Nursing role expansion; Workforce management
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations