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Forum Focus: the reality of cancer nursing

As cancer care becomes more complex and demanding, we will need to redefine what nurses do 
What is a nurse

As cancer care becomes more complex and demanding, we will need to redefine what nurses do

I recently saw a tweet asking nurses to describe what their profession meant to them.

As I expected, nurses responded with wit and humour, and some gave rather unglamorous descriptions of their jobs.

Their descriptions rang true – there is no doubt that some of the things we have witnessed as nurses were not in the ‘how to be a nurse’ invisible handbook we all signed up to.

Similarly, at the University of Stirling, where I work as associate professor in cancer nursing, colleagues and I recently asked prospective students why they wanted to be nurses.

I am pleased to report that ‘care and compassion’ ranked highly among the answers, but I was struck by how difficult it is to articulate what ‘being

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