Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)

CNS’s are registered nurses who are recognised clinical experts within their specialty and are based throughout CDHB campuses.

Why would you contact a CNS?

  • For specialist nursing assessment and interventions
  • For specialist nursing advice
  • To promote continuity of care and seamless patient journey
  • Support and education of patients and colleagues

Clinical Nurse Specialists:

  • Address issues that affect clinical nursing practice and health care
  • Utilise best practice to positively affect patient outcomes in a timely manner
  • Improve the health and well being of people in Canterbury
  • Positively impact on organisational goals and targets​​


Virginia Irving

A BCN specialist applies advanced knowledge to women with breast cancer at various phases across the continuum of care, including:

  • diagnosis,
  • treatment,
  • rehabilitation and follow-up


Outreach team

Provides care/support & ongoing education for children with complex medical conditions who have been in contact with Paediatric Medical and/or Surgical Services at Christchurch Hospital. Services are provided within the community and involve the children’s family/whanau, relevant community groups and primary care givers.

All enquiries/referrals to:


Sharon Cassidy

  • Coordinates care for children in Christchurch with the rare skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) (Wiki Pages).
  • Works also for DEBRA NZ delivering a National service for adults & children with EB within the South Island and lower half of the North Island.
  • Promotes prevention of injury & infection to enhance quality of life.
  • Referrals are accepted from health professionals and the general public.


Neil Owens

  • Work with children and their families/whanau living with diabetes.
  • Provides education/support at diagnosis, and follow up at clinic and the community.
  • Aim to gain and maintain good glycaemic control, while enjoying a great quality of life and to prevent complications now and in the future.


Dawn Anderson

  • Liaison co-ordinator for the Paediatric Clinical Investigation Unit elective inpatient VEEG monitoring service as referred from regional/national paediatrician and neurology outreach clinics.
  • Provides education to children, their families, caregivers and health professionals in the inpatient, outpatient and community setting.
  • Facilitates and co-ordinates plan of care for children with complex epilepsy disorders.


Viv Isles

  • Provide care, ongoing education and support for children with chronic respiratory conditions (Bronchiectasis, Cystic Fibrosis, Tracheostomy, Asthma) who are under the care of Paediatric Medical Services at Christchurch Hospital.


Trudy Brown

  • I work with both providers to provide a seamless service from secondary to community care.
  • My role includes educational support, practical advice, facilitation of referrals and support of early discharge for children with complex health needs.


Ros Robertson

  • Resource nurse for children with Renal and Liver Disease.


Sally-Jane Lewington

  • Resource nurse for children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and other Gastroenterology conditions.



Sue Morel

  • Provides education/support at diagnosis and throughout the cancer continuum
  • Facilitates coordinated care within and across services
  • Key resource for issues related to cancer and sexuality.


About Cardio/ Respiratory Integrated Specialist Services (CRISS)

  • Heart failure Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) care for new and existing patients who are at risk of admission and provide timely intervention and close monitoring within the Heart Function clinic (OPD) or community setting.
  • Nurse-led Heart Function clinics in collaboration with cardiologists and senior cardiology registrars.
  • CNS provides clinical assessment, monitoring, education and titration of medications.
  • Long- term management planning in collaboration with GP’s and community providers.

Guidelines for referral to the heart failure service

  • De novo or existing HF/PAH
  • Require education and reinforcement of self-management strategies and symptom recognition
  • Are at risk of repeat admissions for decompensated HF and are reasonably independent, without multiple co-morbidities
  • Are not on optimal medications
  • Complex HF histories and need regular review and adjustment of therapy and monitoring
  • May benefit from definitive therapies, ie: CRT, AICD, Transplant.
  • May benefit from oxygen supplementation

Contact

  • Internal: 88303 or External: 03 364 0167 or Pager: 5447
  • Fax Internal: 80849 or Fax External: 03 364 0849

Julie Chirnside RN, MHSc (clinical)

Gill Sheppard


The Infection Prevention and Control Service is a patient focused service and a key resource providing expert guidance and support to prevent the occurrence and spread of infection. Please contact the service if you need advice or information regarding any aspect of Infection Prevention & Control (IPC). Please also refer to Infection Prevention & Control Policies and Guidelines- our online policy manual Each CDHB hospital and Division is represented by one or more CNS Infection Prevention and Control. Refer to individual details below.


Julie White


Louise Brown


Julianne Munro


Mike O’Callaghan


Natacha Maher


Natacha Maher


Andrea Grieve


Jill Gerken



Gina Beecroft

  • Role model and resource person for issues related to clinical practice in neonatal care
  • Promote and facilitate the development neonatal clinical practice utilising research and evidence based practice
  • Provide the initial and ongoing educational needs of staff relating to neonatal care in conjunction with the Nurse Educator
  • Newborn Life Support Instructor​​


Hazel McGregor

  • Role model and resource person for issues related to clinical practice in neonatal care
  • Promote and facilitate the development neonatal clinical practice utilising research and evidence based practice
  • Provide the initial and ongoing educational needs of staff relating to neonatal care in conjunction with the Nurse Educator
  • Newborn Life Support Instructor​​


The Christchurch Nephrology Department provides general nephrology, acute dialysis and chronic dialysis (CAPD and home haemodialysis) as well as a Renal Transplant Service. The Nephrology Department is based at Christchurch Hospital. As Clinical Nurse specialists we work in collaboration with the nephrologists and nursing staff. We provide education, support for staff, patients and their whanua/family. Please feel free to contact any of us for more information or advice.


Kate McKey


Jenny Usher



Helen Lloyd

  • To improve the health outcomes for an older patient population in the community
  • To deliver and promote excellence in gerontology clinical nursing practice
  • Clinical support for all Older Persons Health Specialist Services (OPHSS) inter-disciplinary teams (including CREST)


Referrals are accepted from health professionals internally and externally, contact:


Aileen Smith

  • Promoting early intervention and prevention for complex patients with multiple co-morbidities
  • Promoting excellence in aged residential care through evidence based guidance and clinical coaching
  • Improving care co-ordination for the elderly living in aged residential care


About Oncology/Haematology Clinical Nursing services

  • Guides and supports members of the nursing and multidisciplinary teams in their assessment, clinical decision making, implementation, evaluation and documentation of care in relation to oncology.
  • Coordinates and provides Oncology specialty assessment, prevention, education and intervention to the Oncology patient population.
  • Acts as a resource to the Oncology nursing service and wider Canterbury DHB.
  • Develops reviews and challenges current policy, procedures and standards of best practice.

Sharron Ellis

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist Haematology Day Ward
  • Managing patient flow and safety, day-to-day running of the Haematology Day Ward
  • Education, support and guidance for nursing staff
  • Resource person for Haematology and other departments within the hospital Blood Transfusion Clinic
  • Management of haematology transfusion dependant patients who are medically stable
  • Co-ordinate and initiate varying support systems to facilitate patient quality of life at home

Ruth Gerring

  • Managing patient flow and safety, day-to-day running of the Haematology Day Ward
  • Education, support and guidance for nursing staff
  • Resource person for Haematology and other departments within the hospital Blood Transfusion Clinic
  • Management of haematology transfusion dependent patients who are medically stable
  • Co-ordinate and initiate varying support systems to facilitate patient quality of life at home



Robyn Baird

Donna Thomson

  • Working within the Cardiorespiratory Integrated Specialist Services,(CRISS) I provide specialised respiratory nursing support to people with severe lung disease both in the community and in secondary care from Christchurch to Kaikoura.
  • Within that role I provide domiciliary oxygen education to patients and their families.
  • Additionally, working within the Integrated Respiratory Nursing Service (IRNS) pathway, I provide support, education and assessments for patients and their whanau with complex respiratory needs in the community (see Hospital and Community Health pathways), as well as education and support to GP practice and rest homes.



Jan Ipenburg

  • We work with patients with rheumatologic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Lupus, Gout etc
  • Provide education and support for patients and their families through nurse-led clinics and telephone advice line
  • Provide education in the community for both patients and health professionals in conjunction with Arthritis NZ


​​​About the sleep service

  • The Sleep Service are responsible for the management and co-ordination of care for adults with sleep disorders in Canterbury, West Coast and South Canterbury; those with suspected sleep disordered breathing conditions.
  • The Sleep Service at Christchurch Hospital works in a multi-disciplined approach. The nursing arm of the team specialize in the effects of the sleep state on chronic conditions.
  • The Sleep Service are also responsible for assessment, as well as the initiation and care for patients on long-term continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), adaptive servo-ventilators (ASV) and Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) therapy.​​​
  • The Sleep Service at Christchurch Hospital work alongside 19 general practices in Canterbury who perform initial sleep assessments on behalf of the Sleep Service, details of these providers can be found on the health pathways website (only available to medical professionals) or the Canterbu​ry Healthinfo website for general public.

Contact information ​

Sleep service administration phone numbers: 03 364 0204 or 03 364 0908 Phone number for therapy patients: 03 364 1089


Sally Powell



Lynn Stephen

  • Provides education and support within the IDT environment for the management of Spinal Cord Injured clients
  • Assists in the coordination of care whilst in the ward environment, helps facilitate discharge process and transition into home environment including liaising with other health care providers in the community
  • Resource person for wound management in neurologically impaired skin



Jane Hurley

  • Manages all referrals for urology patients in the Mid Canterbury area
  • Works closely with the urologists from Christchurch Hospital who have a clinic in Ashburton once a month
  • Runs nurse-led clinics reviewing, supporting and educating patients with a variety of urological problems


Page last updated: 8 October 2018

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