A range of health and support services from community, primary, secondary and tertiary care agencies are required to address the needs of the person with cancer. Nurses are an essential component of service provision across all stages of the cancer experience. The contribution of nurses in cancer control in Australia is guided by the National professional development framework for cancer nursing.41
The EdCaN Framework builds on a national service improvement framework and establishes expectations of all nurses working in cancer control. The EdCaN Framework: 41
- Promotes a person centred approach which is population based
- Recognises that people affected by cancer have many, and often complex, needs requiring a multidisciplinary approach to which nurses can make important contributions
- Is in line with the values, guidelines and principles set out by regulatory and professional bodies
- Takes into account current evidence, population health needs and Australian government priorities in cancer control
- Recommends that nurses be responsive to new practice areas and capabilities as they evolve
- Recognises the importance of practice, education and research informing improvements to care.
The model presented in Figure 3 describes the varying contributions that nurses provide to all phases of the cancer continuum. It outlines the competencies that nurses require when working in different roles, in different settings and at different points along this continuum.
Figure 3: Professional development model for nursing in cancer control41
The competency standards for Specialist Cancer Nurses (SCNs) are intended for those nurses who choose to become specialists in cancer control. The standards are designed for nurses who work in dedicated cancer services and who are - primarily responsible for the care of people at a specific phase of their journey (for example, radiotherapy); across all phases of the cancer journey (for example, specialist breast nursing42); or who work in a broader context but provide a specialist resource in cancer control to a range of generalist providers (for example, a cancer nurse coordinator). The competency standards are intended to represent the minimum standard required for specialist practice in cancer nursing. As their specialist practice advances, SCNs will demonstrate more effective integration of theory, practice and experiences along with increasing degrees of autonomy in terms of judgments and interventions for people affected by cancer.43
Cancer Learning webpage. Nursing PD Pathways
Access the EdCaN Framework41, and read the principles underpinning the development of this document. For each principle, provide one practical example of how you can apply the principle in your practice.
Access the EdCaN Framework41 and then:
- Summarise the four broad groups identified within the nursing workforce in cancer control.
- Identify examples of individuals or groups of nurses from each group within the model in your local area.
Discuss how well you believe the Specialist Cancer Nurse Competency standards reflect your current specialist practice.
Discuss how the EdCaN Competency standards may be used to improve cancer nursing practice.
Access the Specialist Cancer Nurse Competency standards. Develop a professional development plan for the next 12 months based on these criteria. You may wish to use the Specialist cancer nurse professional development portfolio.