The Oncology Nurse’s Role in Oral Anticancer Therapies
The expansion of oral chemotherapy agents since 2000 has transformed the treatment landscape. More than 150 novel oral anticancer medications are currently U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved, with new agents continuously in the pipeline. When caring for patients who are taking oral therapies, oncology nurses and pharmacists can work together to handle drug refills, deliver patient education, and manage the entire treatment cycle—including adverse events.
Clinical and Pharmaceutical Nurse Educators Collaborate to Bring Training to Nurses and Improve Patient Care
In 2022 we celebrated the National League for Nursing’s Year of the Nurse Educator, but nursing staff recognize and thank nurse educators for their critical role in training and support year in and year out. Oncology nurses in particular rely on nurse educators to stay updated as treatments and patient care constantly evolve—and that requires a multipronged approach. All aspects are covered when clinical nurse educators and pharmaceutical nurse educators come together to deliver training for today’s cancer therapies.
Oncology Nurse Navigator Roles Are Transforming Cancer Outcomes for Underserved Rural Patients
Underserved, rural, and economically disadvantaged patients with cancer who are under the care of an oncology nurse navigator are better prepared to begin treatment and require fewer services than non-navigated peers, according to study findings published in the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF). Authors Williams et al. said that their results indicate greater patient satisfaction.
Nontraditional Oncology Nursing Roles
As cancer care evolves, so do new opportunities for nursing roles. Oncology nurses in any role provide essential cancer care, including addressing disparities and social determinants of health and reducing financial toxicity. However, what sets nontraditional nursing roles apart are the populations they care for, how they provide that care, and how they’re overcoming systemic disparities to ensure that all patients with cancer have equal access to high-quality oncology care.
Oncology Nurse Uses Retirement to Help Patients and Healthcare Professionals Understand Pancreatic Cancer Biomarker Testing Results
In June 2021, I was at a crossroads in my career. I had been an oncology nurse practitioner for the past 14 years, and it was time to decide if I should retire as a provider. Yet I felt like I still had more to do and more patients to help. I was determined to make a difference for patients with cancer.
Oncology Nurses’ Role in Translating Biomarker Testing Results
As oncology biomarker testing becomes a routine part of clinical practice, so does first-line use of their associated targeted therapies such as monoclonal antibodies, checkpoint inhibitors, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Climate Change Is Contributing to the Cancer Burden, and Nurses Must Take Action
Climate change affects more than weather patterns or the environment; it also has a substantial impact on human health. Its contribution to the cancer burden includes increased levels of carcinogens, comorbidity factors, cancer incidence, and cancer mortality and reduced access to care.
Nurses Share Career Advice, Growth Opportunities at BEACON Career Forum
A successful nursing career requires resiliency in the face of uncertainty, Susan Orsega, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, director of the Commissioned Corps Headquarters, said during a career forum hosted by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s (NINDS’s) Building Engagement and Community for Nurses (BEACON) program in February 2022. She joined a plethora of nurse pioneers at the forum to share ways that nurses can collaborate and make significant contributions to and grow professionally in the nursing field.
The Oncology Nurse’s Role in Identifying Patients for Cancer Genetics Counseling
During personal and family medical history assessments, many patients report multiple cancer diagnoses in their family or concerns that other family members might be at increased risk for developing cancer. Patients and families might also ask their nurse about risk or parameters for genetic testing. Timely and appropriate referral to genetics professionals for counseling and possible testing for germline risk of malignancy enables individuals at increased risk to follow recommended surveillance and consider surgery and other preventive strategies, ultimately decreasing their risk of cancer-related morbidity and mortality.
Nursing Roles in Clinical Trials
Clinical trials provide evidence to support what you do in your work as a nurse every day. They are tools to discover new therapies and identify side effects while considering patient-specific factors like age, comorbidities, race, and sex. They build support for best practices in treatment and patient care.
Nursing Informaticists Are the Backbone of Technology-Driven Care
Emerging healthcare technologies require a significant investment in time, money, and training. It starts with ensuring that quality improvement efforts are consistent to support positive clinical and patient outcomes, which is why clinical and information technology (IT) representation is critical in making decisions and exploring solutions. Nursing informatics bridges that gap.
As New Roles Emerge, APRNs Have More Opportunities in Cancer Care Than Ever Before
Oncology advanced practice RN (APRNs) are in an ideal position to put their leadership, clinical practice, critical thinking, and organization management expertise to use in new ways to advance and add value to cancer care. During her April 20, 2021, session at the 46th Annual ONS Congress™, Rosanne Casal, DNP, APN-BC, AOCNP®, from University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, OH, shared three examples: benign hematology, ambulatory acute care, and bone marrow biopsy.
New NINR Director Celebrates Health Equity and Diverse Nursing Roles
Patients throughout the United States still face persistent inequities across the healthcare continuum because of social determinants of health and inequity in research, Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) recognized.
Brain Tumor Navigator Role Bridges the Intersection of Cancer and Neuroscience
My role as a nurse navigator, for both patients with cancer and in the neuroscience arena, is the culmination of a 40-year career in oncology nursing. I got my start in nurse navigation 11 years ago. At the time I was working in Hoag’s brain tumor program and noticed that those patients had needs that we weren’t meeting. So, I shared my concern with the program directors and today Hoag continues to develop its brain tumor navigator role.
Nurses Have a Critical Role in Responding to COVID-19, NAM Says
Nursing’s role in health equity, public health emergencies, and COVID-19 is a critical issue for updates to its Future of Nursing 2020–2030 report study, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) said during a webinar on August 20, 2020, that sought public input on nurses’ roles in responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Telehealth Boom Opens New Roles for Oncology Nursing
Seemingly overnight, many patients went from viewing telehealth as an intimidating frontier to embracing it with gusto. Fortunately, health care has prepared for years to put the infrastructure and people in place to support telehealth expansion.
How DNA Sequencing Technologies Are Used in Cancer Care, Now and in the Future
Genomic testing identifies germline or inherited DNA changes that increase a person’s cancer risk, and it also can identify or profile the somatic or acquired changes in a tumor that guide selection of appropriate targeted therapies. The latter type of genomic testing is an analysis of DNA sequence information.
How Oncology Nurses Can Support Patients During Financial Toxicity
As groundbreaking yet high-cost cancer treatments make their way into clinical practice, the effects of financial toxicity can put a damper on the profound effects that new, lifesaving medications can have on patients with cancer. It’s a problem that even Washington, DC, hasn’t been able to address—so what can oncology nurses do about it?
What Is the Difference Between Genetics and Genomics?
Genetics versus genomics: Is there a difference? Does it even matter? There is, and it does. In our era of precision medicine, also referred to as individualized or genomic medicine, being able to differentiate the terms is a first step in establishing a foundational understanding of what they mean for cancer care from prevention to treatment.
The Vital Role of Oncology Nursing in Ambulatory Care
Thanks to significant scientific and technologic advancements in the past 15 years, the majority of cancer care—an estimated 80% or higher—is being delivered in the outpatient setting.For patients, ambulatory oncology care offers comfort, flexibility, and a sense of normalcy during their difficult cancer journey while maintaining the highest-level treatment and care for optimal outcomes. Oncology nurses are key to successful outpatient care, serving as caregivers, educators, advocates, and patient champions from diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship.
What the First Patient I Ever Cared for Taught Me About Anxiety From New Beginnings
I remember my first day as a student nurse technician at an academic medical center as if it was yesterday. It was a Saturday afternoon shift in May 1996 on 10 Green at Harper Hospital in Detroit, MI, on a hematology unit that cared for patients with either malignant hematology (i.e., leukemia and lymphoma) or benign hematology conditions (e.g., sickle cell disease).
How Can Electronic Health Records Help Nurses Implement OCM Changes?
The Oncology Care Model (OCM) is a value-based payment system that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is piloting. OCM focuses on decreasing the cost of cancer care while continuing to provide high-quality care, including a high level of care coordination and navigation and adherence to national guidelines for care. Part of OCM requires implementing certain practice changes, including documenting a 13-point care plan for each patient.
Complexity Is the Cornerstone of BMT Nursing
You’re juggling three patients: one is nauseated and requesting lorazepam now, another’s blood transfusion is finished and the pump’s alarm is loudly chirping down the hall, the third has an order list coming in like rapid fire—and it’s only 8 am. In a blood and marrow transplant (BMT) unit, this sounds like a relatively calm morning.
Patient-Centered Care Through the Oncology Care Model
Better care. Smarter spending. Healthier people. Those are the three hallmark goals of the Oncology Care Model, a value-based payment system developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s Center for Innovation.
Sex Is an Important Dimension of Cancer Psychosocial Care That We Need to Stop Neglecting
My charge nurse approached me and told me that I am getting an admission from the emergency department who presented with high blood pressure and shortness of breath. She told me that the patient is on concurrent chemoradiation therapy and has a rectal cancer.
How to Prepare for a Career in Oncology Nursing
Oncology care is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, nursing careers that offers opportunities to care for patients in all stages of life. It’s a chance to help guide and support your patients through one of the most difficult times in their lives and be inspired by their determination, hope, and faith.
No Place Like It: Home Care for Patients With Cancer
It’s more than just four walls and a roof. Home is where most people find comfort, solace, and a sense of familiarity. It’s where the heart is, and there’s no place like it. With advancements in cancer therapies, treatment care modalities, and technology, many of today’s patients are finding they can receive a large portion of their care in the home. Home care is not a new concept—rather it’s likely the oldest healthcare setting in human history—but it can be a complex and intricate care environment, especially when addressing specific needs related to cancer treatment. At its heart are expert oncology nursing professionals who safely deliver the best possible care for their patients—in the comfort of their own homes.
Opioids Have Been a Healthcare Concern Since the 1980s, but Here’s How Nurses Can Help
Although the opioid crisis was formally labeled a public health emergency in late 2017, excess drug abuse beyond prescription directions has been a public health concern for much longer—since the 1980s, in fact. At the November 2018 Center for Advancing Palliative Care Annual Seminar in Orlando, FL, speakers Lynn Hallarman and Mary McPherson presented a session on how the opioid crisis came to be and what our role as nurses is in changing culture and ultimately addressing it.
The Integrative Oncology Nurse: New Role for a New Era in Cancer Care
When patients or loved ones receive a cancer diagnosis, they often experience fear, worry, and a desire to do everything possible to increase the chance of survival. It is also a pivotal time for patients to assess their well-being and lifestyle and make positive changes. For many, complementary therapies become part of their cancer care journey. Internationally, 40% of patients with cancer have reported using complementary therapies to address cancer-related symptoms, improve the effectiveness of conventional treatments, and provide hope.
Consider a Role in Clinical Trials Research as an Evolution of Your Nursing Career
Nurses can do it all. After all, the often-unsung heroes of health care use their unique skills to positively impact patients and their families in more ways than most people can ever imagine. Unfortunately, role confusion and a lack of awareness of a vital specialty have led to a dire need of nurses in clinical trials.
Put Evidence Into Practice to Prevent Infection
Because of immunosuppression from cancer or its treatment, patients are at a higher risk for viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Patients who develop infections may experience dose delays or reductions that compromise optimal treatment outcomes, resulting in higher mortality rates, longer hospitalizations, and higher cost of care.
Organizations Define Care Coordination and Transition Management Nursing Roles
Each year, the ONS Board of Directors sponsors a session at the ONS Annual Congress on a particularly important, high-impact topic. During a session at the 42nd Annual Congress in Denver, CO, the leadership chose the up-and-coming nursing role of care coordination and transition management.
Competencies Create Expert, Accountable Nurses Delivering Quality Care
When the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, released its 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, it cited a need for improvement in nursing education and practice through the implementation of nursing competencies.
How Do You Bridge Oncology Nurses and Genetic Counselors?
Embracing Quality Manager Roles
Verification Nurses Identify Chemotherapy Order Errors and Improve Patient Safety
Saluting Nurse Educators
Outpatient Staffing Model Improves RN Roles and Functionalities
The Significance of Being an Oncology Nurse
I recently read the book Service Fanatics by Jame Merlino, MD, Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at Cleveland Clinic. Merlino’s role focuses on “putting patients at the center of everything we do.” This concept isn’t new to oncology nurses. I daresay the people we care for are always our focus. Their vulnerability reminds us of our own, and we feel it's a privilege to be part of their journey.