Background: The aim of this review is to identify the roles and activities of nurses working with people with diabetes and to examine the facilitators and barriers in caring for such people. Methods: A systematic review was conducted. From 531 abstracts reviewed, 29 studies were included (18 studies comprised questionnaire surveys, one was an intervention study, two used both questionnaires and interviews, and eight of them used interviews). Barriers and facilitators were extracted and combined using qualitative synthesis. Results: The literature review revealed three major roles and a number of barriers. A model for achieving enhanced nursing care of patients with diabetes has been developed according to the findings of this literature. Specifically, a stepladder suggesting that through better nursing training and education and by providing adequate resources, time, and synergies to diabetes specialists, nurses will be able to correctly perform their diabetes care roles, which include patient education, advanced care, and psychological support. Conclusions: Taking into serious consideration that a large number of hospital users are people with diabetes and that there is an inconsistency among countries about the work settings of Diabetes Specialist Nurses (DSNs), it is important to give greater focus to inpatient care and perhaps to enhance nurses’ roles by eliminating any barriers that prevent them from providing adequate quality care. Furthermore, integrated care involving the role of DSNs within the inpatient care would have been more beneficial for patients.
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