1Student Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran
2Medical Education Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran
3Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran
4Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran
Background The first step to establish a new academic major is the need assessment and extraction of professional and specialized tasks. Objectives The current study aimed to identify and describe the duties of diabetes nurse specialists. Methods This needs assessment study was performed using modified Delphi technique in Isfahan in 2014 - 2015. The study population consisted of patients with diabetes and their families, nurses, endocrinologists, diabetologists and nursing faculty members. The study was conducted in three rounds: first, through qualitative interviews and focus group discussions, the duties and tasks of diabetes nurse specialists were extracted, then a questionnaire was designed and in two consecutive rounds, the experts expressed their opinions about the tasks. Results The first round of modified Delphi technique resulted in 500 initial codes. According to these codes, 164 duties were classified into seven categories. In the second round of Delphi approach, the experts reached to 100% consensus in 126 tasks. According to the participants, 74 of the 126 duties were similar, overlapping and inappropriate, and thus were eliminated. In the last round of the study according to the opinions of the experts, 15 more tasks were added to the previous list. Finally, job description for diabetes nurse specialist was developed in six tasks on professional responsibilities, 17 tasks on the area of education, 25 tasks regarding caring and treatment, 6 tasks on society and 13 tasks on management. Conclusions This study led to identification and classification of diabetes nurse specialist duties. The findings can help nursing faculties and other institutes to develop task based educational programs for nurses in diabetes management.