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New framework for cancer nursing launched

A new framework for cancer nursing has been launched that will allow nurses to match their skills to specific roles and provide clear career pathways.

A new framework for cancer nursing has been launched that will allow nurses to match their skills to specific roles and provide clear career pathways.

The Career and Education Framework for Cancer Nursing will also help NHS commissioners in planning service provision.

The framework is the result of a joint project between the UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) and the RCN Cancer and Breast Care Forum.

It is being launched today at the UKONS Annual Conference in Brighton.

The guidelines are the first to include cancer-specific nursing outcomes for pre-registration nursing students, unregistered support workers, registered nurses providing care in generalist settings, and nurses working in specialist cancer care.

Professor Vanessa Taylor, chair of the Steering Group for the Career and Education Framework for Cancer Nursing, said: ‘We want to make sure that anyone who looks after patients with cancer are adequately prepared to care for them and address their needs.’

It includes preparation in terms of the level of knowledge and understanding of cancer required for pre-registration nurses, up to what is required post-qualification, for example in terms of academic experience, for advanced practice roles.

The framework uses the UKONS curriculum set against the Nursing and Midwifery Council code.

Professor Taylor, who is deputy head of nursing, midwifery and professional programmes at York University, said: ‘The framework provides a baseline for the nurses or health support workers to identify their current level of skills and develop these in line with any role and future career aspiration.’

She added: ‘It may encourage more nurses to focus on cancer nursing as a career pathway. Often people are unsure of how to achieve a particular role and hopefully this will facilitate that.’

It will also help advanced nurse practitioners to identify their professional development needs and what is required for revalidation.

The framework aims to ensure staff are trained to deal with the spectrum of cancer from screening programmes to end of life care.

It is hoped it will help shape services and workforce capacity according to the needs of the local population.

The framework has been supported by a grant from the Higher Education Academy Health and Social Care Cluster and will be published shortly.

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