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Specialist cancer nurses: the key to best care for cancer patients

Nurses make a central contribution to cancer care and are integral to effective multidisciplinary team working. A new position statement by the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) ahead of the 1st European Cancer Nursing Day on 18th May 2017 reveals that specialised cancer nursing continues to be frustrated by a continuing lack of uniform regulation and recognition across Europe. Yet, despite this situation, cancer nursing provides an undeniable added value in terms of patient outcomes.

The logo of the RECaN project.
The logo of the RECaN project.
Source: EONS

“ECCO stands for multidisciplinarity in cancer care, and therefore seeks to advance the case for all professions involved in ensuring the best outcomes and experiences for patients. That naturally includes the role of specialised cancer nursing which is why ECCO has been pleased to support the European Oncology Nursing Society’s project Recognising European Cancer Nursing (RECaN). This project aims to consolidate evidence to clarify and effectively position the contribution of specialised cancer nursing as an essential supportive function during the cancer journey for the benefit of all patients, as well as European health systems.” – Peter Naredi, ECCO President.

“Specialist care should be delivered by specialist cancer nurses! Cancer care is increasingly complex and the nurses that deliver, monitor, evaluate and follow-up on cancer treatment need specific skills, education and recognition through appropriate career structures.” – Daniel Kelly, EONS President.

Through the RECaN project, ECCO supports the following characteristics of contemporary cancer nursing:
•    Cancer nurses as core members of the multidisciplinary team.
•    Cancer nursing should be a recognised speciality across Europe based on a mutually agreed educational curriculum.
•    Education for specialist cancer nurses (across all tumour types and phases of care) should be made available.
•    Enhanced free movement of cancer nurses across Europe should be promoted and facilitated to help address rising demand.


Source: ECCO


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