Cancer Nursing Education

The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) in collaboration with the ONMSD published A Strategy and Educational Framework for Nurses Caring for People with Cancer in Ireland (2012) This document specifies the competencies required by generalist and specialist nurses who care for people with cancer in Ireland.

This framework informs the curriculum content of cancer education programmes. Programmes range from in-service day programmes run through the Centres of Nursing Midwifery education (CNMEs), to formalised accredited postgraduate diploma and masters level delivered programmes in third level institutions. The objectives of these programmes is to enhance knowledge, skills and competence of those caring for cancer patients.

Registered Nurses (RNs) need to acquire the competencies to independently deliver care and treatments. It is critical that nurses moving forward maintain clinical competence. Employers need to support oncology nurses, to maintain their professional competence.

There are 26 hospitals nationally that deliver systemic anti-cancer treatment (SACT) to patients. SACT refers to all chemotherapy biological agents and vaccines given with the purpose of treating malignancies. Nurses working in these services are key to the delivery of safe patient centred care.