E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Addressing the educational needs of nurses caring for people with cancer in Ireland (#807)

Susan O Reilly 1 , Hilary Murphy 1 , Louise Mullen 1 , Triona Mc Carthy 1 , terry hanan , Marie Laffoy
  1. Health Service Executive Ireland, Dublin, DUBLI, Ireland

Background and Context:

Ireland’s National Cancer Strategy (2006) stresses the significant contribution from nurses in caring for people with cancer 1. The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) developed a framework to enhance nursing cancer competence in acute and primary care settings 2. This Framework outlined requirements by nurses in any healthcare setting.


To develop and implement nurse cancer education programmes to meet patient needs.


The NCCP collaborated with nurse leaders in educational and clinical practice settings to plan and implement training programmes. Focus group research was undertaken with nurses to identify their learning requirements in managing patients in their work settings.

The need for three educational programmes was identified:

  1. A two-day programme for nurse working in Primary Care. This emphasised roles in disease prevention and lifestyle risk; screening; symptom awareness; appropriate referral pathways and long-term care.
  1. A three-day programme for generalist inpatient based nurses. This emphasised roles in patient care from diagnosis to end of life.
  1. A six-month skills-based Community Oncology Programme for public health nurses to provide shared acute care, in association with cancer centres, for patients receiving systemic therapy at home.

Programme/Policy Process:

Three working groups were established to develop evidence-based curriculum documents for each programme. These were accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

To date Programme showed that nurses enhanced their knowledge in relation to prevention, patient pathways and survivorship. programmes 1 and 3 have been implemented nationally and evaluated. The Primary Care

The skills-based programme resulted in reduced hospital bed utilisation and unnecessary hospital attendances.  It greatly increased the skills of public health nurses and improved patient satisfaction.

Outcomes/What was learned:

These nursing programmes highlight how cancer nursing care can be integrated successfully between specialist and primary care services to the benefit of patients.