Opinion

Forum focus: what’s in a name?

Whether it’s cancer nurse specialist or advanced nurse practitioner, nurse titles should be clearly articulated to patients.
Language of cancer

I am looking forward to the RCN Congress this year. It is being held 12-15 May in Liverpool and it always attracts a large number of delegates.

As well as introducing some of our members to congress for the first time, the Cancer and Breast Care Forum is hosting a fringe event called demystifying the language of cancer on Tuesday lunchtime.

Congress provides a unique opportunity to engage with many groups of nurses from students to generalists to specialists who work across a wide range of clinical areas. I always learn something new each time I attend and its great to talk exclusively about nursing and with nurses for a few days.

Demystifying language

Our session will seek to explore the language of cancer and provide a supportive interactive environment to discuss issues arising in clinical settings. Its not always

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I am looking forward to the RCN Congress this year. It is being held 12-15 May in Liverpool and it always attracts a large number of delegates.


Picture: iStock

As well as introducing some of our members to congress for the first time, the Cancer and Breast Care Forum is hosting a fringe event called demystifying the language of cancer on Tuesday lunchtime. 

Congress provides a unique opportunity to engage with many groups of nurses from students to generalists to specialists who work across a wide range of clinical areas. I always learn something new each time I attend and it’s great to talk exclusively about nursing and with nurses for a few days.

Demystifying language

Our session will seek to explore the language of cancer and provide a supportive interactive environment to discuss issues arising in clinical settings. It’s not always about what words mean but the context in which they are spoken. 

Language, in my view, is also about the titles that nurses use and what they may mean to the public. The widely used term clinical nurse specialist (CNS) has become very familiar and it is used in practice guidelines and incorporated into the patient experience surveys across the UK. 

Clarity

Having access to a CNS is often cited as a benchmark for having a positive cancer experience throughout the cancer pathway plus it is often the CNS that NICE recommend should be the first point of contact at diagnosis. As the nursing workforce changes and adapts to different requirements, there is a noticeable shift towards the role, and the title advanced nurse practitioner (ANP). We need to be mindful that as these roles become more common that their remit is clearly articulated to the public so that we can be consistent.


About the author

Susanne Cruickshank @Sue_Cruickshank is chair of the RCN cancer and breast care forum

 

 

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